The Horizontal Society

The Horizontal Society

eBook - 1999
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This book argues that modern technology has radically and irretrievably altered our sense of identity and hence our social, political, and legal life. In traditional societies, relationships and identities were strongly vertical: there was a clear line of authority from top to bottom, and identity was fixed by one's birth or social position. But in modern society, identity and authority have become much more horizontal: people feel freer to choose who they are and to form relationships on a plane of equality. The author examines how modern life centers on human identity seen in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion, and how this new way of defining oneself affects politics, social structure, and the law. He claims that our horizontal society is the product of the mass media -- in particular, television -- which break down the isolation of traditional life and allow individuals to connect with like-minded others across barriers of space and time. As horizontal groups blossom, loyalties and allegiances to smaller groups fragment what seemed to be the unity of the larger nation. In addition, the media's ability to spread a global mass culture causes a breakdown of cultural isolation that leads to more immigration and heavy pressure on the laws and institutions of citizenship and immigration.
Publisher: New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, ©1999
ISBN: 9780300147209
0300147201
9780585363295
0585363293
0300075456
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 310 pages)

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