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Collective search for identity

Author: Orrin Edgar Klapp
Publisher: New York, NY : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, [1969]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
From the Preface: This book is about identity-seeking movements of modern society. It deals with such things as fashions, fads, poses, ritual, cultic movements, recreation, heroes and celebrities, and crusades, from the point of view of what they tell about the identity search of a mass society. My view, briefly, is that a collective identity search is symptomatic of the fact that some modern social systems deprive  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Klapp, Orrin Edgar, 1915-
Collective search for identity.
New York, NY : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, [1969]
(OCoLC)610162131
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Orrin Edgar Klapp
ISBN: 0030731054 9780030731051
OCLC Number: 4779
Description: xvii, 383 pages ; 21 cm
Contents: Preface --
Part 1: Problem --
1: Seekers --
Identity problem of modern society --
Sources of identity problems --
Lack of identity in accumulating information --
Modernism: place into space --
Mobility: person into category --
Lack of identifying ritual --
Solutions? --
Streams of the same river --
2: American revolutionary potential: what has happened to the "Spirit of '76"? --
Incredible rebellion --
Main forms of the rebellion --
Rebellion with no place to go --
Real problem and appropriate responses --
Part 2: Responses --
3: Fashions and masquerades --
Looks --
Look at me! --
Style rebellion --
Urban masquerade --
Danger of stylelessness --
4: Language of ritual --
Ritual as language --
Resistance to ritual --
Poverty of ritual --
Ritual and sentiment --
Mistaken responses to formalism --
Conclusion --
5: Cultic movements --
Nudism reconsidered --
Thesis: cultic response --
Broader definition of cult --
Centering function of cult --
Achievement of centering --
Conversion --
Rituals and cult --
Making the new man: role of the devotee --
Cultic formula --
Cultic instruction --
Service or liturgy --
Cultic fellowship --
Initiation or baptism --
Witnessing --
Monastic path --
Psychedelic movement --
Conclusions --
6: Secular cult --
Fun --
New romanticism --
Cultic tendency in play --
Cultic tendency and signatory style in art --
Deviation and nonsquare "fun" --
Cultic tendency in health and knowledge seeking --
Conclusion --
7: Heroes and celebrities --
Uses of heroes --
Directions of identity voyages --
Reinforcement by heroes --
Seductive experience --
Transcending experience --
Mass hero worship and the cult of celebrities --
Cult of celebrities-where is it taking us? --
8: Crusades --
Crusader as a social type --
Crusade as a movement --
Militance --
Righteousness --
Sense of uphill struggle --
Image of evil --
Unwillingness to compromise --
Implied evangelism even when goals are practical --
Crusading spirit in America today --
Results and functions of crusades --
Practical results of crusades --
Dramatic ritual functions --
Cultic (internal ritual) functions --
External dramatic functions --
Conclusion --
Part 3: Conclusion --
9: Symbolic poverty and balance --
Symbolic poverty --
Symbolic balance --
10: Perspective for research on symbolic balance --
Notes --
Index.
Responsibility: by Orrin E. Klapp.

Abstract:

From the Preface: This book is about identity-seeking movements of modern society. It deals with such things as fashions, fads, poses, ritual, cultic movements, recreation, heroes and celebrities, and crusades, from the point of view of what they tell about the identity search of a mass society. My view, briefly, is that a collective identity search is symptomatic of the fact that some modern social systems deprive people of psychological "payoffs," the lack of which, expressed by terms such as alienation, meaninglessness, identity problem, motivates a mass groping for activities and symbols with which to restore or find new identity. People grope because they do not really know what is wrong, especially when there is physical prosperity yet a sense of being cheated. When mass movements become concerned with identity, they develop certain characteristics, such as "ego-screaming," concern with costume and self-ornamentation, style rebellion, concern with emotional gestures rather than practical effects, adulation of heroes, cultism, and the like, with which I shall deal. Such signs show that ordinary economic and political solutions are not what is wanted. People feel the futility and irrelevance of such measures, yet do not know quite what else to do.

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