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Marginalized in the Middle

Addressing volatile social issues such as gender, pornography, race, welfare, immigration, and schooling, Alan Wolfe examines the ills of American society in the 1990s. He shows that it is possible to be critical and fair at the same time, and concludes that social criticism does not lie within the boundaries of either left-wing or right-wing ideas, but rather is connected to a broad understanding of liberalism. This immensely readable book illustrates the power of social criticism to enlarge discussion of issues at the heart of democracy today.

"In applying a realist approach to controversies over immigration, pornography, race relations, and the apparent communications gap between the genders, Wolfe seeks to demonstrate the advantages of combining the insights of criticism and the tools of social science."—Library Journal

"A plea for a return to liberal thinking, an insistence on the value of ’social criticism beyond politics.’ "—Washington Post Book World

"[Wolfe] surveys contemporary public discourse on racial and sexual relations, welfare policy, immigration, pornography, education and cultural politics . . . he manages to bring some fresh thinking to most of these stale debates."—T. J. Jackson Lears, New York Times Book Review

299 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

Sociology: General Sociology

Table of Contents

I: Marginalized in the Middle
II: The Changing Politics of Social Criticism
III: Realism and Romanticism in Social Criticism
IV: Talking About Race
V: Thinking About Gender
VI: Criticism Beyond Ideology
VII: What Generations Owe to Each Other
VIII: Social Criticism and Social Institutions
IX: Social Science and Social Criticism
X: The Certainty of Social Criticism
XI: The Morality of Criticism
XII: Social Criticism and Political Power
XIII: The Future of Social Criticism

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