Allen observes the situation in Little Rock, the mistrust between races and individuals in general, which forced parents to advice their children not to talk to strangers. Today it has blossomed into a fundamental precept of civic education, reflecting interracial distrust, personal and political alienation, and a profound suspicion of others. Talking to Strangers is engaging, well written, and tightly argued. However, she believes that from that point on, not much has changed for the better and that distrust has further increased. Click to see a full list of Danielle Allen's courses. Its interpretations of texts are excellent.
The most significant source of material for Danielle Allen is Aristotle. In this part of the book, Allen reveals the construction of the American society throughout 1954 up to 1965, during the civil rights movement. The second half is where the book's origin as a series of lectures, designed to evoke and connect a wide range of scholarship, leaves the concluding sections a bit unfocused or perhaps just not long enough to fully establish Allen's claims , not quite delivering as strong an image of friendship as Hobbes's image of the Leviathan that Allen attempts to unseat. Danielle Allen Danielle Allen's resume is quite an impressive one - in 1996, she got her PhD in Classics from the Cambridge University and three years later, she got a PhD in Government from the Harvard University. She uses this moment to ground her theories about public citizenship.
His activities at Slought include , an urban education model that responds to the crisis in community participation and political representation by circulating different ways of thinking and making. Old Myths and New Epiphanies; 3. Sacrifice is the key concept that bridges citizenship and trust, according to Allen. She became an assistant professor and then a full university professor and taught subjects on both classic languages and literature, as well as politics. In Habermas's view, participants harmonize their views in a public sphere, casting their ideas in terms of universal principles and avoiding subjective, emotional speech 54.
The most relevant example in this sense is Danielle Allen's Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. This also means an acknowledgement of histories of inequality and disempowerment, and an interest in pursuing a restoration of equity for our fellow citizens that can allow us to enjoy the wholeness of our nation. In her last chapter Allen applies her conclusions to the operations of her home institution of the time, the University of Chicago, in a still-unrealized call for the university to engage its neighbors through practices that build trust and a sense of community. Allen expresses herself in a concise, yet clear manner. Taking up the project begun by Alexis de Tocqueville and furthered by James Baldwin, Allen asks: How can we generate trust among citizens riven by race, self-interest, and bad habits? Will interracial distrust be matched or superseded by religious vs secular distrust sometime in the future? Secondly, rhetoric is also key. If a citizen sees the institutions of which he or she is already a part as a medium in which to exemplify the citizenship of trust-building, institutional reform will already be underway. The next is the an idea of citizen friendship that includes justice.
Interracial distrust on the other hand points out that the negative feelings are revealed by all races across the globe, not just by whites towards blacks. The title of the book says much in this direction as the idiom talking to strangers comes to replace the saying of all parents across the globe: do not talk to strangers. Given this chain, the members of society would be better able to interact and trust one another, taking one more step towards the society of civil democracy. Elizabeth in the first instance, but Hazel, too, really. Allen: A few years back, when I was researching this project as part of my study of citizenship, I investigated an argument about desegregation between philosopher Hannah Arendt and novelist Ralph Ellison.
In sum, Allen argues that the everyday practices of individual citizens are the bedrock of a functioning democracy and lays out the practices that constitute political friendship, a way of being that generates trust among citizens in preparation for equitably sharing and compensating the sacrifices necessary to keep the community whole. Just like any other piece of writing, Allen's book reveals both strengths and weaknesses. She then pursued graduate studies at Harvard, earning an A. Allen argues that this kind of friendship is handled through processes of reciprocity and gift giving 131. Danielle Allen is a political theorist and the incoming Director of Harvard University's Edmond J. In Talking to Strangers, political philosopher Danielle Allen diagnoses the persistent problem of interracial distrust in America as a problem of defining and realizing democratic citizenship, i.
Allen is careful to articulate trust and friendship in terms of behavior or practice instead of affect—that is, we create friendships as public citizens by behaving in ways that build trust. E Pluribus Unum ultimately hurts the cause of democratic citizenship and interracial distrust. Allen is dean of the Division of the Humanities as well as professor in the Department of Classical Languages and Literatures, Department of Political Science, and Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She reframes the challenge of distrust in terms of citizenship, asks why it has been so hard to build in the U. I am so thankful to have stumbled upon Danielle Allen - her writing is interdisciplinary, relevant, and accessible. The current national imaginary thus encourages us to assimilate, causing political action to be determined by the interests of those who fit the mold.
The second is not one book, but rather the works of Aristotle as they relate to friendship and citizenship. How can vulnerable and disempowered citizens claim their political majority? Each and every one of them somehow influences Talking to Strangers. My ears perked when I realized she was redefining as in, again defining citizenship as a relationship between citizens, as well as one between an individual and the state. ©2004 by the University of Chicago. By combining brief readings of philosophers and political theorists with personal reflections on race politics in Chicago, Allen proposes strikingly practical techniques of citizenship. She argues that, instead, we must create increased security though trust.
In addition to her teaching and scholarship, Allen has become an integral University citizen since her return to Harvard. A central concern for Allen is how a revised conception of citizenship can invigorate new possibilities for civic life, and how, fundamentally, we can learn to talk to others across the gulfs created by race- and class-based violence in both the past and the present. The problem is that changing the customary habits of the citizenry is harder than passing a law. Individual sacrifice within a society will help increase the trust in the members of the community; parents will no longer advice children not to talk to strangers and a model of political friendship will be implemented. However, without rhetoric we lack the foundation for an intersubjective experience of democracy—for reciprocity—whereby we consider the interests of others and appeal to both majority and minority, crafting our arguments through negotiation and affective feedback. Allen that this photograph and its popularity , taken during a shift from white-only public spaces to more inclusive ones, reveals the assumptions of the time, as well as the challenge that changes in laws also involve changes in the self. The great thing about Danielle Allen: I can tell she's questioned my questions and then some.
Elizabeth is walking a gauntlet, surrounded by hatred, and Hazel has taken the hatred inside her. Therefore, despite the concise and easy formulations, it is rather difficult for the novice to understand at all times the background and context to an issue discussed. Allen: The sacrifices of soldiers are important, should not be forgotten, and deserve honor. Aaron Levy is the Executive Director and co-founder of Slought and a Senior Lecturer in the Departments of English and the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Allen argues that another weakness with Habermas is the way he ignores the issue of trust.