The Study of Man: American Realities and Sociological Methods:
The New American
THERE are some of us who tend to bristle irritably when a sociologist undertakes to discuss character or personality. Only imaginative literature, we say, has ever dealt revealingly with such subjects whose very reality the economist and the sociologist find it convenient to disregard. David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd* does deal, not only with character, but with the American character and thus, for a double reason, puts the present reader’s prejudices on the defensive. If in the end these prejudices are largely overcome, it is because the author is a very unusual sociologist with more imagination and a truer sense of the limitations of his method than is common.
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