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Riesman's Model of Civilzations: Discussing Human Societies

In The Lonely Crowd, David Riesman offered a tripartite model of civilizations - inner, outer and other-directed. North America provides an interesting, and alarming, study of human malleability.Provide a characteriological model of persons and societies using his work.

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In 1950, sociologist David Riesman (The Lonely Crowd: New Haven, 1950) argued that the American population had changed, unexpectedly and dramatically, from 'inner-directed' to 'other-directed'. This observation has become an academic staple, but did little to change the course of events. In Feb, 2003, Lewis Lapham (Harper's Magazine/February, 2003, p. 8.) observed:

America's winning of the Cold War resulted in the loss of its soul. In place of the reckless and independent-minded individual one thought to embody the national stereotype (child of nature, descendant of Daniel Boone, hard-drinking and unorthodox) we now have a quorum of nervous careerists, psalm-singing ...

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The solution is an analysis of David riesman's work, "The Lonely Crowd" which explores via a discussion/narrative his ideas, particularly the tripartite model of civilizations he offered as a manner by which societies can be viewed through providing results that argue the case of human malleability.