Cover for LYMAN: Selected Works of Herbert Blumer: A Public Philosophy for Mass Society

Selected Works of Herbert Blumer

A Public Philosophy for Mass Society

The editors provide a realistic appraisal and consideration of Blumer’s work as it addresses America’s racial, political, and labor problems--his ‘Public Philosophy”--refuting the characterization of Blumer as primarily a social psychologist of the self.

The civic sociology of Herbert Blumer speaks to the fundamental problem of modernity: how freedom and equity can be ensured when institutional and personal relations are threatened by disparate groups and factions--in short, by difference.

Balancing essays on Herbert Blumer with Blumer's own writings on race relations, labor and management conflict, urbanization, and popular culture, this volume--originally published as Social Order and the Public Philosophy--establishes Blumer's thought as a basis for a public policy that remains faithful to the essential character of human life in a permanently pluralized and segmented society.

Stanford M. Lyman and Arthur J. Vidich situate Blumer's ideas in the context of earlier public philosophers, such as William Graham Sumner, Herbert Croly, and Walter Lippmann. They consider the implications of Blumer's works for America's most pressing social issues and propose a sophisticated civic sociology of their own based on his studies and methods. Their new afterword affirms the rich harvest Blumer's philosophy continues to yield for postmodern society. \

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