From gated communities to Heaven's Gate, the idea and practice of community in America have not only declined but mutated. In the process, Americans' longing to be connected to something greater than themselves has intensified. This longing, coupled with an absence of genuine community alternatives, opens the way to counterfeit claims by those promoting economic rather than social agendas. This book examines 'counterfeit community' as it has become manifest throughout contemporary American society_in housing, as it shapes our public spaces; in the workplace; in politics; in religion; and most recently, in cyberspace. Promises of community come from those hawking exclusive golf course housing developments, from shopping malls and shopping channels, from 'total quality management' and mission statement rhetoric, from televangelists and electronic town meetings_and all lure us in, only to disappoint. As Counterfeit Community shows, building genuine community means no quick fixes and no false appeals. The hard work of weaving relationships must be combined with political, economic, and social change to counter the counterfeit trend. Marshaling positive examples of genuine community as well as increasing our sensitivity to false ringers, this book starts us along the way.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated
The Exploitation of Our Longings for Connectedness
Education & Reference