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Social Fragmentation and the Decline of American Democracy

The End of the Social Contract

  • Robert E. Denton, Jr.
  • Benjamin Voth

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 1-18
  3. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 39-60
  4. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 61-83
  5. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 85-111
  6. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 113-125
  7. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 127-149
  8. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 151-167
  9. Robert E. Denton Jr, Benjamin Voth
    Pages 169-182
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 183-195

About this book

Introduction

This book explores the social and political implications of what the authors identify as the decline of the social contract in America and the rise of a citizenry that has become self-centered, entitled, and independent. For nearly two decades, America has been in a “cultural war” over moral values and social issues, becoming a divided nation geographically, politically, socially, and morally. We are witnessing the decline of American Democracy, the authors argue, resulting from the erosion of the idea of the social contract. Especially since the “baby boomers,” each successive generation has emphasized personal license to the exclusion of service, social integration, and the common good. With the social contact, the larger general will becomes the means of establishing reciprocal rights and duties, privileges, and responsibilities as a basis of the state. The balkanization of America has changed the role of government from one of oversight to one of dependency, where individual freedom and responsibility are sacrificed for group equality. This book examines the conditions of this social fragmentation, and offers ideas of an American Renaissance predicated on communicative idealism.

Keywords

cynicism alienation narcissism individual freedom responsibility fragmentation postmodern culture

Authors and affiliations

  • Robert E. Denton, Jr.
    • 1
  • Benjamin Voth
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Division of Corporate Communicationand Public AffairsSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

Bibliographic information