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Habits of the Heart: A Critical Analysis - Essay Example

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According to the book, individualism has negatively affected society and contributed to modern day capitalism. Authors of the book contend that the common good in…
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Habits of the Heart: A Critical Analysis
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Habits of the Heart: A Critical Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... In reference to this, religion in contemporary America has helped people to realize the importance of social justice as a tool for fighting individualism (Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, & Tipton, 2008).
Religious teachings insist on the need for equality and concern for others. Religion also promotes a system of collectivism where people are expected to be their brother’s keepers. The negative role of religion in relation to shunning individualism is that it encourages social capital that could in turn promote capitalism. This is because social capital promotes the aspect of preferential treatment that could give influential people in society the power to dominate over socially and economically weak people. Social capital also encourages social interaction especially through networks. By so being people can identify common interests that lead to the cooperation in various social spheres. Healthy interaction, on the other hand, promotes trust that in turn marks a healthy society.
Authors of the book base their work on philosophical, sociological and historical factors that concern contemporary Americans. They interview different kinds of people such as businessmen, the middle-class individuals and activists among others (Marty, n.d). These people talk about love, civic issues, religion, success and work. Based on the language used by these people, the authors conclude that the language that people use to address social issues makes it difficult for society to achieve the common good in philosophical, sociological and historical contexts. According to them, the language used is characterized by much individualism to the extent that people have become their best friends. Religion insists on the use of the right language when addressing issues. The role of religion in contemporary America based on this issue is to ensure that apart from using the right language people follow the right channels. When religion condemns wrong doings, people ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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