Who Is My Neighbor?
Social Affinity in a Modern World
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Points the way toward a world in which we might feel more connected to and responsible for each other.
In a world which often is labeled a "global village," who exactly is our neighbor? Who is My Neighbor? explores the emergence of what is called "social affinity," a concept bridging classical notions of social cohesion with contemporary social psychology. The ideas underlying social affinity focus on the sentiment of moral obligation which holds society together.
In order to understand how a sense of social affinity emerges within individuals, the author breaks down the concept into three dimensions—social consciousness, sentiment, and action—and their constitutive elements. These dimensions are then brought together in a single model demonstrating how social affinity and the meaning our values have for us are shaped by our social location and the self-interest which permeates our culture.
James A. Vela-McConnell is Associate Professor of Sociology at Augsburg College. He is one of the authors of What's Left? Radical Politics in the Postcommunist Era.
"Bold in conception, breathtaking because of the range of writing it draws together, scrupulously careful in execution, and elegantly parsimonious in its explanation, Professor Vela-McConnell has written a book that is at once deeply satisfying intellectually and hugely valuable to anyone interested in linking theory to public policy. All whose political and moral sensibilities lie in the direction of maximizing a sense of neighborliness— in the immediate social context of our lives, within the boundaries of the United States, and in our increasingly global village— should read this book. — from the Foreword by David Karp