• A "Reconstructed Sociology": Democratic Vistas and the American Social Science Movement

    Author(s):
    Timothy Robbins (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    LLC 19th-Century American, LLC Late-19th- and Early-20th-Century American, TC History and Literature
    Subject(s):
    History of social science, Walt Whitman, Reading and library history, History of reading, 19th-century American history and literature, Library history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Social science, Theory of democracy
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6GF0MW21
    Abstract:
    Situates the composition of Walt Whitman's Democratic Vistas—from manuscript notes, source material, and pilot essays to its publication as an 84-page pamphlet—within the intellectual tendencies of the Reconstruction-era American social science movement to reveal Whitman's text as an important case study in the nascent discipline. In his program to cultivate a population of self-reliant, creative readers, Whitman examines the national histories of literary institutions; he meditates on the social reproduction of “taste” and its connections to political and economic power; and he conceives of a democratic reception theory based on a new ethics of reading, entering debates about the “best books” with the country’s newly professionalized class of librarians. This essay argues that in linking the transmission, reception, and circulation of “culture” to the nation’s social evolution, Whitman laid the groundwork for that concept’s adoption by future sociologists, anthropologists, and activists at the turn of the twentieth century.
    Notes:
    Can be viewed here: https://ir.uiowa.edu/wwqr/vol36/iss1/3/.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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