Public and Private in Thought and Practice

edited by Jeff Weintraub & Krishan Kumar

0226886247.jpgWeintraub, Jeff and Kumar, Krishan, eds. (1997). Public and Private in Thought and Practice: Perspectives on a Grand Dichotomy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

This is a great starting point for exploring the public/private dichotomy. The introduction, written by Jeff Weitraub, provides a solid overview of the philosophical and sociological framework for understanding the public sphere. Weintraub touches on the work of Jurgen Habermas and moves into a discussion about the meaning of privacy and the private sphere.

From the publisher:
These essays, by widely respected scholars in fields ranging from social and political theory to historical sociology and cultural studies, illuminate the significance of the public/private distinction for an increasingly wide range of debates. Commenting on controversies surrounding such issues as abortion rights, identity politics, and the requirements of democratization, many of these essays clarify crucial processes that have shaped the culture and institutions of modern societies.

In contexts ranging from friendship, the family, and personal life to nationalism, democratic citizenship, the role of women in social and political life, and the contrasts between western and (post-)Communist societies, this book brings out the ways the various uses of the public/private distinction are simultaneously distinct and interconnected. Public and Private in Thought and Practice will be of interest to students and scholars in disciplines including politics, law, philosophy, history, sociology, and women's studies.

Contributors include Jeff Weintraub, Allan Silver, Craig Calhoun, Daniela Gobetti, Jean L. Cohen, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Alan Wolfe, Krishan Kumar, David Brain, Karen Hansen, Marc Garcelon, and Oleg Kharkhordin.