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Lecture Notes on Forest and the Trees Chapter 1

Lecture Notes on Forest and the Trees Chapter 1 - Johnson...

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What was the point of the reading: The individualism model does not work, we are always participating in something larger than ourselves (this is harder to prove in the US vs easier in Europe) This is because it was this kind of thinking that gave birth to our nation (18th cent enlightenment, credited to Russo) Capitalism also reinforces this kind of thought, we are focused on individual achievement When we were first started, people had to rely on themselves because they weren't a huge population - 19th cent individualism as shown by Americans: Utilitarian free markets (Adam Smith) - Rugged Individual American (cowboy notion) - Survival of the fittest (natural selection, Darwin) - The reflexive self (William James) - Individualism/agency: explains the world in terms of what's going on inside individuals It sees social problems as resulting from flaws in individual character *Johnson says this is wrong and that we have to understand what we're participating in (much like Durkheim, sociology is powerful)
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