a common reader

Gregory Clark, The Son Also Rises

November 26th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Gregory Clark, The Son Also Rises

Gregory Clark, The Son Also Rises

How much of our fate is tied to the status of our parents and grandparents? How much does this influence our children? More than we wish to believe. While it has been argued that rigid class structures have eroded in favour of greater social equality, The Son Also Rises proves that movement on the social ladder has changed little over eight centuries. Using a novel technique — tracking family names over generations to measure social mobility across countries and periods — renowned economic historian Gregory Clark reveals that mobility rates are lower than conventionally estimated, do not vary across societies, and are resistant to social policies. The good news is that these patterns are driven by strong inheritance of abilities and lineage does not beget unwarranted advantage. The bad news is that much of our fate is predictable from lineage. Clark argues that since a greater part of our place in the world is predetermined, we must avoid creating winner-take-all societies.

Clark examines and compares surnames in such diverse cases as modern Sweden, fourteenth-century England, and Qing Dynasty China. He demonstrates how fate is determined by ancestry and that almost all societies — as different as the modern United States, Communist China, and modern Japan — have similarly low social mobility rates. These figures are impervious to institutions, and it takes hundreds of years for descendants to shake off the advantages and disadvantages of their ancestors. For these reasons, Clark contends that societies should act to limit the disparities in rewards between those of high and low social rank.

alleen zijn, en oud

July 17th, 2014  |  by  |  published in FOCUS, miscellanea | Comments Off on alleen zijn, en oud

alleen zijn, en oud

Enkele dagen geleden moest ik terugdenken aan een boek van de Spaanse schrijver en journalist Juan José Millás: El ojo de la cerradura (het sleutelgat). Het bevat een selectie korte stukjes — tussen cursiefje en essay — die hij schrijft voor de krant El País. Bij elk artikel staat een foto centraal. stilleven De tekst […]

Richard Sennett, Respect

July 14th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Richard Sennett, Respect

Richard Sennett, Respect

“Unlike food, respect costs nothing. Why, then, should it be in short supply?”
Respect can be attained by gaining success, by developing talents, through financial independence and by helping others. But, Sennett argues, many who are not able to achieve the demands of today’s meritocracy lose the esteem that should be given to them.
From his childhood in a poor Chicago housing project to the contrasting methods of care practised by a nun and a social worker, from the harmonious interaction of musicians to the welfare system, Sennett explores the ways in which mutual respect can forge bonds across the divide of inequality.

Richard Sennett, Together

May 18th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Richard Sennett, Together

Richard Sennett, Together

Living with people who differ — racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically — is the most urgent challenge facing civil society today. We tend socially to avoid engaging with people unlike ourselves, and modern politics encourages the politics of the tribe rather than of the city. In this thought-provoking book, Richard Sennett discusses why this has happened and what might be done about it.

Sennett contends that cooperation is a craft, and the foundations for skillful cooperation lie in learning to listen well and discuss rather than debate. In Together he explores how people can cooperate online, on street corners, in schools, at work, and in local politics. He traces the evolution of cooperative rituals from medieval times to today, and in situations as diverse as slave communities, socialist groups in Paris, and workers on Wall Street. Divided into three parts, the book addresses the nature of cooperation, why it has become weak, and how it could be strengthened. The author warns that we must learn the craft of cooperation if we are to make our complex society prosper, yet he reassures us that we can do this, for the capacity for cooperation is embedded in human nature.

Richard Sennett, The Culture of the New Capitalism

March 20th, 2013  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Richard Sennett, The Culture of the New Capitalism

Richard Sennett, The Culture of the New Capitalism

In this provocative book Richard Sennett looks at the ways today’s global, ever-mutable form of capitalism is affecting our lives. He analyzes how changes in work ethic, in our attitudes toward merit and talent, and in public and private institutions have all contributed to what he terms “the specter of uselessness,” and he concludes with suggestions to counter this disturbing new culture.

Richard Sennett, De mens als werk in uitvoering

May 11th, 2011  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Richard Sennett, De mens als werk in uitvoering

Richard Sennett, De mens als werk in uitvoering

Socioloog Richard Sennett ontving in 2010 in Amsterdam de Spinozalens, een prijs die wordt toegekend aan vooraanstaande denkers over ethiek en samenleving. Deze bundel opstellen is naar aanleiding van die gelegenheid samengesteld. In het woord vooraf en het eerste hoofdstuk worden zijn leven, zijn inspiratiebronnen en werk behandeld. In zijn denken staat de vraag centraal hoe gewone mensen proberen een zinvol leven te leiden onder de harde condities van het veeleisende flexibele kapitalisme dat zich over de hele wereld heeft verbreid. In de twee volgende hoofdstukken komt Sennett zelf aan het woord. In zijn rede, uitgesproken ter gelegenheid van het ontvangen van de Spinozalens, geeft hij aan humanist te zijn en wil hij nagaan wat humanisme in het verleden heeft betekend en vandaag de dag nog betekent. In het essay ‘Sociologie als literatuur’ betoogt hij dat sociologie een vorm van literatuur kan zijn en zou moeten zijn; het is een ambacht. Het boek wordt afgesloten met een interview met Sennett, waarin de macht of onmacht van de – sociaal-wetenschappelijke – verhalenverteller weer aan de orde komt, en met een beknopte biografie en bibliografie van Sennett. Het boek heeft alle kenmerken van een gelegenheidswerk.

L.G. Jansma

Richard Sennett, The Craftsman

January 1st, 2008  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Richard Sennett, The Craftsman

Richard Sennett, The Craftsman

The Craftsman is an exploration of craftsmanship — the desire to do a job well for its own sake — as a template for living.
Most of us have to work. But is work just a means to an end? In trying to make a living, have we lost touch with the idea of making things well? Pure competition, Sennett shows, will never produce good work. Instead, the values of the craftsman, whether in a Stradivari violin workshop or a modern laboratory, can enrich our lives and change the way we anchor ourselves in the world around us.
The past lives of crafts and craftsmen show us ways of working — using tools, acquiring skills, thinking about materials — which provide rewarding alternative ways for people to utilise their talents. We need to recognize this if motivations are to be understood and lives made as fulfilling as possible.



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