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Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation [Formato Kindle]

Richard Sennett

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Descrizione prodotto


As challenging and demanding as cooperation is, it has been our species' secret weapon, and those of us alive today are the descendants of people who had what it takes to make it work. This thoughtful book outlines the craftsmanship we will need to ensure that it continues to do so (Mark Pagel New Scientist)

A fresh exploration of one of the oldest conundrums facing social theory, which is how cooperation between people is forged and maintained (Frank Furedi Times Higher Education)

To call this captivating writer an academic sociologist makes as much, or as little, sense as labelling Mozart a court musician ... Eclectic, ecumenical, Sennett leads us with charm and candour down his chosen routes to renovation (Boyd Tonkin The Independent)

Together is a profound mediation on how humans act as social animals, and an inspiring call for us all to try and embrace differences of tribe, religion and class (Ian Critchley Sunday Times)

The book offers an artisanal response to a post-industrial condition ... In this sense, Sennett is a true heir to John Ruskin and William Morris (Terry Eagleton Times Literary Supplement)

Richard Sennett's new book is an excellent resource to help us [work with others], and what shines through it is Sennett's own humanity. He is an excellent scholar and a very agile thinker ... this is a book that should be widely read (Kester Brewin Third Way)

Co-operation is hard because it is about learning to live with people who think differently or don't know what they think at all. Sennett wants to remind us that this is a skill, and like any skill it takes patience and practice (David Runciman The Guardian)


Living with people who differ -- racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically -- is one of the most difficult challenges facing us today. Though our society is becoming ever more complicated materially, we tend to avoid engaging with people unlike ourselves. Modern politics emphasizes unity and similarity, encouraging the politics of the tribe rather than of complexity. Together: the rituals, pleasures and politics of Co-operation explores why this has happened and what might be done about it.

Sennett argues that living with people unlike ourselves requires more than goodwill: it requires skill. The foundations for skillful co-operation lie in learning to listen well and to discuss rather than debate. People who develop these capacities earn a reward: they can take pleasure in the company of others.

Together traces the evolution of cooperative rituals in medieval churches and guilds, Renaissance workshops and courts, early modern laboratories and diplomatic embassies. In our lives today, it explains the trials and prospects of cooperation online, face-to-face in ethnic conflicts, among financial workers and community organizers.

Exploring the nature of cooperation, why it has become weak, and how it could be strengthened, this visionary book offers a new way of seeing how humans can live together.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 2296 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 303
  • Editore: Penguin (2 febbraio 2012)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B006JP1T46
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Non abilitato
  • : Abilitato
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #125.444 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)

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Amazon.com: 3.7 su 5 stelle  3 recensioni
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle Sennett not at his best 24 giugno 2013
Di Jurriaan Bendien - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
Having read and greatly appreciated many of Richard Sennett's books, I was rather disappointed with his latest book "Together: the rituals, pleasures & politics of cooperation". It looks to me more like a meandering postmodern draft that was hastily dashed off to the publisher for publication before it was really finished, thought through, and properly structured. The editors then probably proceeded to tidy up the manuscript, so that it was publishable.

The prose is often chatty and discursive, liberally tossing around or stringing together a grab-bag of anecdotes, terminologies, truisms, quotations and digressions which, I suppose, are to attest to the erudition of the author. Point is, they often don't help the argument or the storyline along very much at all. The narrative is often so badly structured, and often rambles on so much, that the prose becomes irritatingly turgid, to the point of being a tiresome yawn (at least for the experienced reader who is looking for "real content"). Often it is not clear where the author is heading, and more importantly why exactly he is heading there - as if he was writing a novel in which paragraphs should be simply enjoyed for their own sake, or as if he was painting a freestyle landscape with all kinds of riveting small details. Some paragraphs are indeed enjoyable, and show some new and original insight, but what they all add up to, is often a moot point.

Sennett's core concept of cooperation is rather vaguely or provocatively (in my opinion, quite wrongly) defined as "exchange" and he discusses the spectrum of exchange in terms of five segments, namely "altruistic exchange", "differentiating exchange", "win-win exchange", "zero-sum exchange" and "winner-takes-all exchange". Readers expecting a profound, clear and thorough analysis of the modalities of cooperation and competition, well-grounded in the social-scientific literature, will be disappointed. Beyond his usual humanistic moralism and historical anecdotes, Sennett this time around offers only a fairly simplistic (but fashionable) concoction of new age game-theory, developmental psychology and socio-biology.

The central thesis advanced in the introduction is that "We are losing the skills of cooperation needed to make a complex society work", the implication being that we need to relearn those skills. The second half of the book is in this respect really more interesting than the first, but at the end I wasn't really convinced by the author's case. I had been taken on a cook's tour round and round the subject without the nail being hit firmly on the head.

In a "Coda" appendix, Sennett tosses out a few extra big ideas as a parting gift, such as "the twentieth century perverted cooperation in the name of solidarity" and "individualism implies the social absence of ritual", but they stand more as a testament of opinions, than as hypotheses backed with evidence and argument.

On the positive (appreciative) side, if you have the patience/leisure to read the book through and think critically about Sennett's luxuriant verbosity, there is certainly plenty of "food for thought" in this book. Even when he is not at his best, Sennett is still pretty good. It is just that, in a world already overloaded with information, most people interested in this subject area are likely to read more to find answers - and Sennett doesn't provide them, beyond variations on the lament that a world of experience is going asunder and that a new world is emerging which is destroying valuable human qualities.
3.0 su 5 stelle Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation 20 dicembre 2012
Di Barry - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Formato Kindle|Acquisto verificato
I found it rather heavy going though well written. It was a bit more "texty" than I expected. I did enjoy some of the analyses he made with his childhood friends. It was not surprising that those who had some association with organisations, churches, clubs etc that bonded them to something outside of their poverty tended to have fared better than those who had no such association.

The reference to co-operation with others and getting the best out of people reinforced my own perceptions.
5.0 su 5 stelle Five Stars 14 gennaio 2015
Di John Kastan - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
Excellent. An insightful and stimulating read by one of our most engaging social scientists.

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