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The Fine Line: Making Distinctions in Everday Life
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The Fine Line: Making Distinctions in Everday Life

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Eviatar Zerubavel argues that most of the distinctions we make in our daily lives and in our culture are social constructs. He questions the notion that a clear line can be drawn to separate one time or object or concept from another, and presents witty and provocative counterexamples in defense of ambiguity and anomaly.
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Free Press
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Eviatar Zerubavel has an important insight about the way the human mind categorizes and compartmentalizes reality to create a sense of order in an otherwise chaotic universe. He also recognizes that the opposite of a rigid mind -- one that imposes no structure and leaves us adrift in a sea of ambiguity -- is equally unhelpful. While his advocacy of a mid-way "flexible mind" is welcome, I would have liked him to discuss more about how we can encourage that way of thinking. He spends an inordinate ...more
Tristan Bridges
I love this book. Zerubavel is so clear and writes so well. It's like reading Goffman (and he's a student of Goffman's)--only it's edited. I think I might use this to teach intro some day.
Read this book for a class on classification. It felt like I was reading a Malcom Gladwell book about classification
Pam Portenstein
This book explains how we carve mental categories out of the fluid context of reality. It was a real eye-opener.
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