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Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  36 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 m ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Yale University Press (first published April 15th 2011)
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Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want to engage with some of the ideas in this book, rather than review it, per se. As humans we are the outcome of a kind of struggle of opposites. We are obviously highly social animals – very few of us go off and live on top of a mountain, our language only makes sense if we can speak it to other people, most of what we do can only be done because we live in a society of interconnected others. We are condemned to be ‘together’, if you like. And this is increasingly the case in the cities mos ...more
Jay Green
May 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
You always learn something from a Richard Sennett book, even if it's entirely unrelated to the ostensible subject of the work. In this case, I learned about Satow's Diplomatic Practice, which is mentioned in passing. As for the ostensible subject, I have to say that this book should really be called "Sennett's Reflections, Anecdotes, and Recollections on the Subject of Co-operation," since this book is little more than an excuse for tangential discussions based on Sennett's own experiences. Ther ...more
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blue
Richard Sennett is aiming high with this book. He posits in the Introduction that it is the middle book of a trilogy, with the first being his earlier published book "The Craftsman". His trilogy is intended to be nothing less than a comprehensive theory about "the skills people need to sustain everyday life". It may be that he hits the target he aims at, but I'm not entirely certain yet. This is the sort of book one has to digest for some time before knowing what it has and has not accomplished. ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a study of cooperation by Richard Sennett. Sennett is one of the best social theorists writing today and this study is a follow-up to his work on craftsmen and craft organization. This is a theory driven examination of what cooperation is, what the state of cooperation is in modern society, and what can be done about it. Unlike a more straightforward history, Sennett has a definite argument to make. The book takes a "deep dive" into the different meanings of cooperation in social behavio ...more
Ferda Nihat Koksoy
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
BERABER-İşbirliği Ritüelleri, Zevkleri ve Politikası-
-ABD aşırı derecede KABİLE toplumu haline gelmiştir ve "BİZE-KARŞI-ONLAR" psikolojisi her şeyi ele geçirmektedir. "Bize-karşı-onlar" ilkel dürtüsü, kabilenin devamlılığını sağlar. KENT ise, FARKLI OLANLARIN, ZAHMET GEREKTİREN ve DİYALOĞA DAYALI İŞBİRLİĞİ ile devam edebilecek bir düzenektir; stereotipiyi taşımaz (Aristoteles).

-Günümüzde zenginler ile diğerleri arasındaki GELİR UÇURUMU giderek büyüyerek sosyal mesafelerin de gerilmesine yol açm
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016

Read: Theodore Zelvin, Voltaire’s Candide, Theodore Keel

Omniarch: a ruler of everything in the world or universe

phalanx: a group of people or things of a similar type forming a compact body
sensate: perceiving or perceived by the senses
evince: reveal the presence of (a quality or feeling); indicate:
ontology: the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
propinquity: the state of being close to someone or something; proximity

Find here: explanations of dialogic and dialectic
عمر الحمادي
لم يلامس الكتاب سقف التوقعات... العنوان في جانب ومواضيع الكتاب في جانب آخر، تدفق للأفكار والشواهد ولا تعرف محلها من الإعراب ولا ماذا يريد أن يخبرك المؤلف... ربما يحتاج قراءة ثانية
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, philosophy
In this stimulating book Richard Sennett investigates how people who have conflicting interests, are unequal or don't understand each other might engage in `difficult', constructive cooperation. Sennett's view is that cooperation rests on a set of skills - he refers to them as `dialogic skills' - that can be learned and have to be sustained. Our contemporary society has been weakening those skills in distinctive ways. Increasing economic inequalities translate in everyday experiences of elites b ...more
Michael Rancic
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
the intro is strong but sennett likes to take the long way around sometimes to make a point and i found it difficult to work through for a subject i'm really interested in learning more about. ...more
Apr 07, 2013 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Richard by: "Thinking Allowed" with Laurie Taylor
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 him up here.

The crucial point he had made in the discussion was that cooperation requires unspoken rules, often in the form of rituals. The example he cites is the trading floor of a financial market. All the business that is transacted couldn't be done if the actors didn't follow an elaborate set of
A Reader
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
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 Montaigne's long-held conviction that we can never really plumb the inner life of others, be they cats or other human beings.

My premise about this is that we frequently don't understand what's passing in the hearts and the minds of people with whom we have to work. Yet as Montaigne kept playing wit
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
It was refreshing to read an analysis of social life and co-operation that did not rely on neuroscience or cod economic theory. Sennett grapples with the problem of how we build social bonds without relying on the expedient of trying to 'engineer' behaviour from the top down. Instead he argues that co-operation requires skill that is developed through social practice over time. Sennett is trying to develop an organic conception of social relations. This attempt founders due to an over-reliance o ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro que va más allá de la cooperación: sobre la civilidad, los rituales, la precariedad laboral, el duelo, la comunidad, el compromiso, la reparación, etc. El autor salta de un tema a otro y de una época a otra con mucha habilidad. No expone una teoría o un sistema. Tampoco es especialmente erudito. En la estela de Montaigne, Benjamin y Arendt.
Dainius Jocas
May 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Many facts that probably are good illustration for presented ideas, but mostly they are unknown. At times it was hard to follow the author.
blue-collared mind

The author, well known for his books on labor and cities dives deep into mutual benefits focusing on how the new world of "impatient" capital, new forms of labor and increasing structural inequality means we must rethink how cooperation can be strengthened.
To understand one difficulty in expanding cooperation in this ever more dangerous world of anonymous online trolls and daily road rage incidents, he brilliantly defines the "uncooperative self", a new type of citizen emerging in the world who
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read!
Xavier Roelens
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: samenwerken2017
Dit boek heeft me woorden gegeven om uit te leggen waarom samenwerking, vriendschappen en goede omkadering zo belangrijk zijn. Ook en zeker in de kunsten.
Shabsough Dua'a
Mar 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't even finish it :( ...more
Uwe Hook
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Richard Sennett contends that "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 Together he traces the evolution of cooperative rituals in situations as diverse as slave communities, socialist groups in Paris, and workers on Wall Street. Divided into three p ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: planologen
Sennett is een erudiet socioloog / filosoof. Hij combineert zijn kennis van allerlei bronnen en literatuur met persoonlijke ervaringen en bespiegelingen. Dat is in eerste instantie innemend, maar op een gegeven moment begint de persoon Sennett zijn betoog in de weg te zitten. Ja, de mensheid is in de loop van de geschiedenis, in elk geval in het Westen, het verleerd om samen te werken. Ja, managers en projectmatig werken is de dood in de pot, omdat managers niet kundig hoeven te zijn en personee ...more
David Gallin-Parisi
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: halfway
Halfway read book for the always interesting Joel Schlosser book group. Sennet examines people crafting, making, and dialoging together. His references feel like there mostly from the old school. For example there is no presence of the current Maker Space movement, a decent example of people currently working together for the sake of doing so. However, there are excellent and surprising discoveries that Sennett presents in this work. People can effectively work, produce, craft, build, and even d ...more
David Sasaki
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sennett will always be one of my favorite writers ... definitely my favorite sociologist. David Ranchman summarizes the book concisely: "Communities are easy to create, but co-operation is hard." Together is the second book in a trilogy focused on craftsmanship and urban life. The first was The Craftsman , which has a tremendous impact on my worldview, and I'm looking forward to reading the forthcoming "Making and Dwelling." ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
In this book Sennett feels somehow more detached from his subjects then in 'Corrosion of Character' or 'Respect.' The theme of the book is very topical and relevant for continuing survival of western society, but the book feels to fall short in facing the hard truths. As Vaneigem often repeated, the capitalist system is built on separation. Also, closer to home, Christopher Lasch's 'Revolt of Elites' might be a good accompaniment for this book.
Still, the core message in Sennett's writing remain
Manuel J.
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a very interesting journey between a Lily Allen song and Montaigne's cat. That is an elaborate literary way of talking about a book that is really about cooperation as a way of living in society. Sennett goes round and round many aspects of living in society, from ancient Greece to the present day, not necessarily chronologically, exploring many right and wrong ways intensively, butin a soft way, letting the reader do some work by him/herself. It makes a trilogy with "The Crafstman" ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
A good book by Richard Sennett that develops in a deep research (historical, sociological, economic and even political) on the theme of human collaboration.
The result is an interesting book to read with calm and patience required when it comes to this author. In fact it's easy sometimes to get lost losing sight of the author's intentions.
Read in Italian language.
Jun 19, 2016 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
Loved it- What have Holbein’s painting “the ambassadors” and Montaigne’s cat in common? Here they function as bookends of a deep study of cooperation –the skill to get on with people who are different– where it has gone wrong, and how we can repair it. Can’t wait for part 3 of the Homo Faber project, on city planning and urban spaces.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read for ages.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent analysis of communities and coexistence in hour times, and very well written. Sennett at his best.
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sennett explores the ways in which we have lost the skills for cooperating effectively in modern society.
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Richard Sennett has explored how individuals and groups make social and cultural sense of material facts -- about the cities in which they live and about the labour they do. He focuses on how people can become competent interpreters of their own experience, despite the obstacles society may put in their way. His research entails ethnography, history, and social theory. As a social analyst, Mr. Sen ...more

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