Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation

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Yale University Press, Jan 10, 2012 - Philosophy - 336 pages
9 Reviews

Living with people who differ—racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically—is the most urgent challenge facing civil society today. We tend socially to avoid engaging with people unlike ourselves, and modern politics encourages the politics of the tribe rather than of the city. In this thought-provoking book, Richard Sennett discusses why this has happened and what might be done about it.

Sennett contends that cooperation is a craft, and the foundations for skillful cooperation lie in learning to listen well and discuss rather than debate. In Together he explores how people can cooperate online, on street corners, in schools, at work, and in local politics. He traces the evolution of cooperative rituals from medieval times to today, and in situations as diverse as slave communities, socialist groups in Paris, and workers on Wall Street. Divided into three parts, the book addresses the nature of cooperation, why it has become weak, and how it could be strengthened. The author warns that we must learn the craft of cooperation if we are to make our complex society prosper, yet he reassures us that we can do this, for the capacity for cooperation is embedded in human nature.


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Review: Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation

User Review  - Goodreads

At the end of his life, the philosopher Michel de Montaigne inserted, in one of his essays a question. "When I am playing with my cat, how do I know she is not playing with me?" The question summed up ... Read full review

Review: Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation

User Review  - Goodreads

The BBC4 sociology podcast Thinking Allowed brought Richard Sennett to my attention in a brief discussion of cooperation in a February 2012 program. What he said there was intriguing enough I looked ... Read full review


The Cooperative Frame of Mind
Cooperation Shaped
Cooperation Weakened
Cooperation Strengthened
Montaignes Cat

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About the author (2012)

DIVRichard Sennett's works include The Craftsman and The Culture of the New Capitalism, both published by Yale University Press. He founded and served as first director of the New York Institute of the Humanities and is now a professor of sociology at both New York University and the London School of Economics./div

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