Conspicuous Criticism : Tradition, The Individual, And Culture in Modern American Social Thought (Paperback)

Customer Reviews   Write a Review

Be the first to review this item and earn 25 Rakuten Super Points™

Product Overview

In Conspicuous Criticism, historian Christopher Shannon argues that the social-scientific critique of American culture, whether liberal or radical, can only reproduce the social relations of bourgeois individualism. He analyzes in depth key works of scholars such as Thorsten Veblen, Robert and Helen Lynd (of Middletown fame), Ruth Benedict, John Dewey, and C. Wright Mills, among others, to demonstrate how American middle-class ideas of progress, individualism, and rationalism became embedded in their critique. These works embody an ideal of reason free from tradition which unites capitalism and its social-scientific critique. The critical attempt to detach oneself from society so as to study it objectively only reinforced the ideal of objective social relations at the heart of the market society itself. Shannon argues that most historical writing on American social sciences has focused on the ways in which intellectuals have used social science to advance particular political agendas. This political focus, he argues, has forced the story of American social science into a narrative of reform and reaction that is incapable of seriously addressing the larger issue of the rational control of society. Shannon concludes that social science research of this sort has perpetuated values of individualism and capitalism which may hinder contemporary America's need to address serious social, economic, and political problems. A thoughtful and provocative alternative history, Conspicuous Criticism will interest scholars in American intellectual history, American studies, and social thought.


Publisher University of Scranton Press
Mfg Part# 9781589661196
SKU 202250712
Format Paperback
ISBN10 1589661192
Release Date 6/11/2013
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0229
Publisher University of Scranton Press
$106.92 + $5.98 shipping
Rakuten Super Points Earn 107 ($1.07) Rakuten Super Points™
What are Rakuten Super Points™?
Get rewarded when you shop! Earn 1 point per dollar spent. That's like getting cash back on every purchase. Easy to see matured points in checkout. Use points just like cash.
Learn More
Get this item for
(price with shipping)
(redeem points)
Format: Paperback
Condition: Used-Good
In Stock. Usually Ships in 1 to 2 business days
Please select an option to buy
Add to Cart

What is a Marketplace and Shop Owner?
  • Our marketplace is a platform where approved third-party retailers (Shop Owners) can sell their products
  • Items are sold and shipped by Shop Owners
  • Your credit card and personal information remain secure; meets all PCI Security Standards.
  • Purchases can only be returned to the Shop Owner
  • All purchases receive Rakuten Super Points™
Promotions & Offers (1)
  •  custom promo
    5% Back* Sitewide with Promo Code Rewardme *See page for details