Made In America Summary

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Claude Fischer opens his book, Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character with his perspective of voluntarism in America in his first chapter titled The Stories We Tell. He introduces the idea that voluntarism is the belief and behavior of independence and self-responsibility by an individual along with the belief and behavior of one succeeding through fellowship. He focuses on the aspect of individuality when describing voluntarism. In a voluntaristic culture, he claims, people have the assumption that they are in control of their own fates versus the belief that they as individuals are part of a “social whole.” Along with individuality, he points out that people in a voluntaristic culture value their freedom. And last, because success is important in a voluntary group, everyone strives for status. Because of these three main traits that outside observers note, he illustrates that…show more content…
They began to live the comfortable lifestyle of attending postsecondary, maintaining a full-time job, starting a family, send their children off, and eventually retiring. This reiterates Fischer’s argument that American has a voluntarism culture because of the conformism of its people. In the select chapter from his book, Fischer claims that the subcultural groups in America have adopted the voluntaristic culture, even though some have resisted. He believes that America has one dominant social character that started with the Northeastern Protestants and has spread over time, which he considers to be voluntarism. To help his audiences understand his argument, he introduces the different challenges that have been presented to him about his description of American
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