Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got from the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety
Conley is an engaging and accessible writer, and he is able to introduce fundamental sociological concepts from the classics (Marx, Weber, Durkheim) in straightforward language and with simple metaphors and examples.
He develops new sociological concepts that are worth noting and thinkin ...more
A busy professional with an equally busy spouse -- he is Chair of New York University's Sociology Department; his wife is experimental designer Natalie Jeremijenko -- Dalton Conley lives the multiple lives he describes. Most critics think he has honed a forward-looking book that successfully combines personal anecdote and hard science. Even if his ideas are not cutting-edge, he is a "lively if sometimes overheated writer" (New York Times Book Review) who presents a snapshot of our times that som...more
One of my life goals is to "work to live, don't live to work". And apparently my choosing to bypass the fast track (or, to take it at a m ...more
Two things that stick out. There are a lot of cliché phrases and he uses "Begs the question" incorrectly.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of cool and interesting things in this book but that's what sticks out in my mind.
His theories are sound too, the only thing is, it sounds like he is talking ...more
"This constant fear of being exposed, cut out, or outsourced, and thereby having one's 'capital' rendered valueless, is the principal pathos of the era."
"Whereas in the industrial epoch, the ability to cloister oneself off from the hoi polloi was a mark of power; in the post-industrial, networked economy, being surrounded by as many people as possible, all seeking your attention, is the ultimate manifestation of rank."
If you are one of my neighbors in Elsewhere, USA, then you probably have more valuable ways to spend your time ...more
The book is spot-on in terms of its examples (Teaching kids Mandarin, working on Webkinz, home-office). The book does not provide answers, but does go miles in explaining many of things we take for granted. (Why do we clean up after ourselves at KFC ?)
Outsourcing child raising, housekeeping, lawn care. Remaining plugged in 24/7. Fragmentation. Modern class relations. Lack of seperation between work and leisure.
Interesting to contemplate societies trends, and my place in them.