Cultures of Optimism: The Institutional Promotion of Hope

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Founder's Optimism - John Adams, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton

Average rating: 0 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews Write a review. Oliver Bennett.

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Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Customer Reviews. Best of all, he presents new theories and cutting-edge research in a style that is engaging and illuminating for all of us.

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This book will both ignite and set a high standard for future work on hope and optimism. By addressing 'cultures of optimism' across some of the most fundamental institutional frames of our life experience, he has certainly broken out of any conventional corral of cultural policy and greatly extended how we might think about this field.

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This promises to be a significant cross-disciplinary and really thought-provoking book. One of his concerns—exploring optimism as a cultural 'policy'—is especially rich, revealing cultural policy to be in fact a meta-discipline alongside, but quite distinct from, cultural studies and cultural history. Arguing that the importance of institutions in processes of cultural transmission has gone largely unrecognised, the author analyses the role of institutional arrangements in the propagation of optimism.

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The exposition in this highly original work traverses an impressive range of disciplines including philosophy, psychology, sociology, comparative religion and organisational behaviour. The result is an elegantly written book that will appeal to a wide audience, from the specialist scholar to the general reader.


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The primary focus throughout, however, is on the way that cultural institutions seek to promote a kind of hopefulness or optimism in their members. Bennett's probing analysis shows that this 'optimism imperative' in contemporary culture can at times be a double-edged sword. See all Product description. Not Enabled.

Martin E.P. Seligman

Based on an incredible mastery of scholarship in a number of disciplines, Bennet presents a carefully balanced and nuanced analysis of the insistence upon an optimistic outlook as a central component of the institutional cultures of contemporary society. As noted, Bennet's range is impressive and the arguments put forth for optimism are evaluated carefully Bennet's sympathetic, but critical, attitude about optimism provides a refreshing look at a complex, but typically unchallenged, normative ethos. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser.

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Buy eBook. Buy Hardcover. Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book What are the functions of optimism in modern societies?