Don't Take It Personally: Personalness and Impersonality in Social Life

Don't Take It Personally: Personalness and Impersonality in Social Life

English | 2024 | ISBN: 019769134X | 113 pages | True PDF EPUB | 9.03 MB

Along with the concepts of social role, social group, social network, social class, and social structure, the notion of impersonality is one of the pillars of the sociological imagination: the ability to think beyond individuals and see them as members of particular social categories. Although almost every sociologist is at least implicitly cognizant of the fundamental contrast between personalness and impersonality, it has yet to be explicitly conceptualized. Don't Take It Personally comprehensively addresses the fundamental distinction between the specific and generic visions of personhood. Over the course of the book, Eviatar Zerubavel articulates the fundamental features of impersonality; the process of producing impersonality; the impersonal logic underlying the notion of individuals as countable quantities; the relationship between modernity and impersonality; and considers what is gained and what is lost by impersonalizing so much of social life. Drawing on fascinating examples from diverse social contexts, Don't Take It Personally introduces a general framework to better understand the deeper connection between seemingly disparate phenomena, from racial profiling and hate crimes to "secret Santa" gifting.

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