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Transatlantic Divide: Comparing American and European Society

Transatlantic Divide: Comparing American and European Society

ISBN: 9780199204533
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 1
Publication Date: 2008-02-08
Number of pages: 260
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The book describes, interprets, and analyzes the key features of European society and American society and major social trends in the United States and in the European Union in the last 50 years. The United States of America and the European Union are the two strongest economic powers in the contemporary world, roughly equivalent in terms of G.N.P., market size and scientific potential, but asymmetrical in terms of political influence and military might. The U.S. and the E.U. can be both seen as successful examples of economic development and of political and cultural modernization. But they have followed different paths to reach such a position. They can be considered as two variants of Western modernity. The systematic description of trends for the U.S. and the E.U. taken as whole societies, and the interpretation of similarities and differences and of major changes over time would be already a significant scientific work since they would fill a void in today's social science literature. In fact, there are several studies comparing the U.S. with one or ore European countries, but there is no comparative study of the United States with the European Union taken as a single society. The importance of the comparison is self-evident, for discussing such questions as: what kind of society the U.S. and the E.U. constitute? how similar and how different are they? are they two variants of Western modernity or two wholly distinct models of society (American exceptionalism and European uniqueness)? are the two societal models converging or diverging? which are the distinctive features the American model of society? is it departing from its core culture and institutions? is there a European society in the making? how diverse are the member countries of the E.U.? which are the distinctive features of the European project? which model of society seems more reactive to the challenges of globalization? The approach is new insofar

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