Dr. Andrew Wood
Office: HGH 210; phone: (408) 924-5378
- Mike Davis, City of Quartz
Thus far, we've examined a dialectical tension between government and corporate influences over the shaping of public life. After 1945, it appeared that government had secured its role at the center of American society. Yet, during the sixties, our faith in the state collapsed. Communities no longer follow the centralized visions of federal planners; they sprout along the cracks left by corporate enclaves and superhighways. Public parks and town squares similarly grow less and less important as television draws us inward from our front porches. Thus we must question whether community can sustain itself in the new century. The growing privatization and simulation of public locales, the proliferating media that enhance individual pursuits, and the decline in traditional socializing institutions portend, to some critics, the end of public life in America. These critics may be right. However, as we shall see, they may have overlooked the emergence of new technologies and social forces leading to an even more tightly knit community than has ever before existed.
Readings: Garreau, Davis, Putnam and Miller
Notes: Garreau and Davis
Notes: Putnam and Miller
Supplemental Essay: Two Nights in Reagan National Airport
Bruce E. Gronbeck, Musings on the Emptiness and Dreariness of Postmodern Critique
Mary Ann Sullivan, Frank Gehry's Frances Howard Goldwyn Regional Branch Library
Richard Stengel, Bowling Together Civic Engagement in America Isn't Disappearing but Reinventing Itself - Time Magazine, July 22, 1996
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