David Riesman


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David Riesman
Birthday
BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died
Occupation
Sociologist
Known for The Lonely Crowd

Riesman, David (Jr.)

(1909–  ) sociologist, educator; born in Philadelphia. After a law career, he joined the social science faculty of the University of Chicago (1946–58) and Harvard (1958–80). He gained national prominence with The Lonely Crowd (coauthored, 1950). His other works, many on the sociology of higher education, include On Higher Education (1980).

Riesman, David

 

Born Sept. 22, 1909, in Philadelphia. American sociologist.

Educated as a lawyer, Riesman was a professor at the University of Buffalo from 1937 to 1941, at the University of Chicago beginning in 1949, and at Harvard University beginning in 1958. He gained fame with his studies on social psychology and culture in the USA in the 20th century: The Lonely Crowd (1950) and Faces in the Crowd (1952). According to Riesman, the “inner-directed” man, an active participant in the competitive struggle of the age of free enterprise, becomes the “other-directed” man, totally subordinated to the bureaucratic organization. This evolution of man’s social character, according to Riesman, is manifested by apathy, pessimism, cynicism, and a sense of inner emptiness.

Riesman describes the crisis of American efficiency, the expansion of consumer psychology, and the increasing worship of the idols of consumption and entertainment. While sharply criticizing the state-monopoly bureaucracy, Riesman attempts to depict the processes taking place as universal, ostensibly associated with the complexities engendered by industrialization and urbanization. He fails to see that these processes are generated by the social and class structure of the USA and idealizes 19th-century American capitalism.

Riesman has written many works that criticize militarism and anticommunism from the standpoints of bourgeois democratism and abstract humanism.

WORKS

The Lonely Crowd. New York, 1950. (With N. Glazer and R. Denney.)
Faces in the Crowd. New Haven, Conn., 1952.
Thorstein Veblen. New York, 1953.
Individualism Reconsidered. Glencoe, III., 1954.
Constraint and Variety in American Education. [Lincoln, Neb., 1956.]
Abundance for What? Garden City, N.Y., 1963.
Conversations in Japan: Modernization, Politics and Culture. London, 1967.
The Academic Revolution. Garden City, N.Y., 1968. (With C. Jencks.)

REFERENCES

Andreeva, M. Sovremennaia burzhuaznaia empiricheskaia sotsiologiia. Moscow, 1965.
Zamoshkin, lu. A. Krizis burzhuaznogo individualizma i lichnost’. Moscow, 1966.

IU. A. ZAMOSHKIN

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David Riesman was also one of the guest lecturers for the Institute.(32)
Also, Nisbet's view of the condition of American society at the time he was writing has a lot in common with that of the leading liberal social critics of the fifties, such as David Riesman. He saw the country as being soulless, adrift, materialistic, conformist, advertising-riddled, rootless, corporate, and dominated by the rise of an alarming new creature, mass man ...
Yet I believe the impulse is essentially not "other-directed," to borrow the distinction David Riesman established in The Lonely Crowd, but "inner-directed."
In The Academic Revolution, published in 1968, Christopher Jencks and David Riesman pointed to a major shift in attachment, away from the university and to the discipline.
His last essay for the WQ, "Fifty Years of The Lonely Crowd" (Summer 1998), dealt with that surprise bestseller of 1950 and the efforts of its principal author, the eminent sociologist David Riesman (who is the subject of a forthcoming McClay biography), to understand how modern institutions were reshaping the American character.
Diamond survived the incident to embark on a career that led to a named professorship at Columbia, where he was in 1975 when David Riesman and Seymour Martin Lipset published their history of Harvard for the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.
Wright Mills, David Riesman, Erik Erikson, Paul Goodman, William H.
The path of our decline to a nation of flat-souled, relativistic nihilists is clear: Plato to Rousseau to Nietzsche to Heidegger to Erich Fromm to David Riesman to Bowie Kuhn.
Whyte (The Organization Man) and David Riesman (The Lonely Crowd) trod similar turf.
When the paperback came out, I was an editor at the then-young Anchor Books - which had also published the other great sociological bestseller of the 1950s, David Riesman's Lonely Crowd (of which I was a junior author).
Gusfield; an intriguing chapter on the applications of social science at Harvard that were learned while teaching at Chicago by David Riesman, and a comment on "My education in Soc 2" by David Riesman and Harold S.
Wright Mills and David Riesman. Getting thrown in jail in the South was a way not only of helping people but also of taking the personally liberating step of burning one's bridges to the organization-man life.