Why is it so hard to make it in America?
December 26, 2013 3:11 PM Subscribe
How would you put together a reading list that helps answer the question "how do Americans' present-day struggles for wellness, independence, and community compare to humans who've lived in other places and times in the ethnographic record?"
posted by elephantsvanish to Society & Culture (15 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
I hope this is not hopelessly vague! I'm specifically looking at surprising and helpful cross-cultural comparisons that can be made in order to recontextualize what feel like very individualistic struggles in American society (how do you find wellness? How do you become an independent individual?) I'm thinking specifically of the struggles and experiences of individuals as they try to "make it" in their socieities, including societies where the cultural script for social membership and participation is nowhere near as individualistic. I found shades of this in Debt by David Graeber, but I'm looking for something more oriented around wellness and subjective experience rather than economic systems, if that makes sense. Thanks!