David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney; Foreword by Todd Gitlin The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of. The Lonely Crowd. A study of the changing. American character by David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney. Abridged edition with a preface. Lonely Crowd. A Study of the. Changing American Character. By. DAVID RIESMAN. IN COLLABORATION WITH. Reuel Denney and Nathan Glazer.

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Crowd manipulation Managing the news Media manipulation. Or at least I found it to be so.

The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character by David Riesman

An other-directed person, meanwhile, based their morality and identity on their social group. One can connect Riesman’s critique of conformity to Joseph Campbell’s inner-directed “follow your bliss” philosophy. Basically the author’s point is that poor people who have to work hard, have other worries than what other people think of them, and that this is actually the problem of the educated, sophisticated urban folks rieesman affluent societies.

Pretty dense, dry, but amazingly prescient. The push to fit in damages inner traditions of morality and philosophy. The big difference between Riesman and Campbell is that Campbell loves traditions such as heroic mythology. Ravid in all a very interesting book that makes you think think think In politics, for example, those who are inner directed believe they can change the world and even believe they can be President — modern people are not so confident that we can really change things and also prefer not to stand out quite as much.


I picked this up in a used bookstore many years ago and tried to read it a few times. Tradition-directed social types obeyed rules established a long time in the past and rarely succeeded in modern society, with its dynamic changes.

The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character

Crodw modern society that is other directed is awash in advertising and consumption. Of all of these classic social studies, the one that seemed most prescient was The Lonely Crowdwith the discussion of social identification s Multiple updates, below.

The traditional type is someone who could have been born at any time over the lastyears or so. After the Industrial Revolution in America had succeeded in developing a middle-class state, institutions that had flourished within the lonnely and the inner-directed social framework became secondary to daily life. And the riessman crises facing humanity in the coming decades make this an especially inopportune time for such a transformation.

Aug 06, John Gillespie rated it really liked it. Instead of living according to traditions, or conforming to the values of organized religion, of the familyor societal codes, the new middle class gradually adopted a malleability in the way people lnely with each other. They discovered the potential within themselves to live and act not according to established norms but based on what they discovered using their own inner gyroscope.

The inner directed person tells their children fables and fairytales like Little Red Riding Hood. In traditional societies, people are oriented toward tradition unsurprisingly and may have very little conception of their individuality.

Many of these same defenses however, operated far more frequently as barriers to autonomy than as defenses for it. They are expected to live lives that will not be too much different from the lives lived by crowx parents.


Today’s other-directed people are driven by an anxiety that they are constantly missing something in life and that they are not likeable and interesting enough to others. Jun 23, joseph rated it really liked it. Unfortunately, it must be said that this book is also quite frustrating.

This page was last edited on 19 Aprilat When this book was published inin paperback three years later, and a condensed version init was not only widely admired by intellectuals but also a best-seller. Such laudable aspects of the text clash with Riesman’s omission of women and dismissal of whole continents and ethnic groups as “traditional.

As such they are expected to model or imitate the behaviours they witness in those around them as they grow. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Americans by and large are still what Reisman, Glazer and Denny as other directed. Books by David Riesman. This book is incredibly dry and hard to get through. Aug 21, Liz rated it liked it. Jul 08, Vegan Viajo rated it liked it.

In biographies and memoirs of the last several hundred years, we can reconstruct, as it were, the way in which individuals begin their struggle for autonomy within the despotic walls of the patriarchal family.