Catalogue


Values and public policy /
Henry J. Aaron, Thomas E. Mann, Timothy Taylor, editors.
imprint
Washington, D.C. : The Brookings Institution, c1994.
description
xiv, 216 p. : ill.
ISBN
0815700555 (pbk.) : 0815700563 :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Washington, D.C. : The Brookings Institution, c1994.
isbn
0815700555 (pbk.) : 0815700563 :
catalogue key
264550
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-07:
This volume grew out of a series of seminars the Brookings Institution sponsored in which noted authorities explore the value implications of specific issues of public policy. For instance, Daniel Yankelovich provides a general account of recent changes in American values, which he attributes to the so-called "affluence effect." Nathan Glazer examines issues of multiculturalism and how they bear on public education. Jane Mansbridge discusses the political system's need that citizens move beyond narrow self-interest. James Q. Wilson explores the breakdown of family values and its effects on crime. As a whole, the volume provides a fascinating overview of the erosion of community values in different areas of American life. Though the authors make specific recommendations, especially concerning means to strengthen the family, which is viewed as a purveyor of social norms, the essays make clear the depth of the problems and how difficult it is to counteract the effects of powerful economic and social forces. Less academic than a work such as Herbert McClosky and John Zaller's The American Ethos (1984), Values and Public Policy should be accessible to a wide audience. It succeeds admirably in calling attention to crucial issues of values and the need for public policies to address them. All levels. G. Klosko University of Virginia
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1993-12-13:
As the editors explain, more and more scholars believe that values ``condition the efficacy of public policy,'' and these six essays from eminent social scientists offer provocative and valuable arguments. Daniel Yankelovich explains how ``fear of loss of affluence'' has led to a new American pragmatism toward politics and problem-solving. James Q. Wilson argues that the ``underclass'' is a product not just of economics but of influences that weaken self-control and concern for others; he suggests that parent-training programs, and mother-child group homes might better socialize young men. David Popenoe warns against American ``overindividualism''; to promote intact nuclear families, he proposes ``family friendly'' work schedules and efforts to hinder hasty divorces. Nathan Glazer calls for a cautious path to multiculturalism, and George Akerlof and Janet L. Yellen observe that fighting gang crime may depend more on community willingness to help police than on vigorous policing. Aaron directs the Economic Studies program at Brookings, and Mann directs the Governmental Studies program there; Taylor is managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Accessible to a wide audience. It succeeds admirably in calling attention to crucial issues of values and the need for public policies to address them." -- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, December 1993
Choice, July 1994
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Summaries
Main Description
In this book, six distinguished social scientists identify trends in America's values and their consequences, and consider public policy tools with which some of those values might be changed.
Main Description
It is not uncommon to hear that poor school performance, welfare dependancy, youth unemployment, and criminal activity result more from shortcomings in the personal makeup of individuals than from societal forces beyond their control. Are American values declining as so many suggest? And are those values at the root of many social problems today?Shaped by experience and public policies, people's values and social norms do change. What role can or should a democratic government play in shaping values? And how do these values conditon the efficacy of public policy?In this book, six distinguished social scientists identify trends in America's values and their consequences, and consider public policy tools with which some of those values might be changed.Daniel Yankelovich begins with a discussion of how American values have shifted in the last half-century, and argues that affluence is the driving force behind these changes in values. James Q. Wilson argues that destructive habits which can lead to social pathologies, like crime and drug use, are set early in life; he examines how public policy might intervene when children are young to promote better values. David Popenoe maintains that America has veered too far towards industrialist values, and explores the resulting decline of families and many attendant social ills. Nathan Glazer describes the history and present status of the dispute over multicultural education. Jane Mansbridge examines the process of building cooperation, consensus, and public spirit. And George Akerlof and Janet L. Yellen discuss the problem of gang criminality.Inthe past, social scientists have often sidestepped questions about values as undefinable, unquantifiable, and somehow unscientific. The essays in this volume address these questions at last.Henry J. Aaron, director of the Economic Studies program at Brookings, is the authorof numerous books, including most recently Serious and Unstable Condition: Financing America's Health Care (1991), and coeditor of Setting Domestic Priorities (1992). Thomas E. Mann is director of the Brookings Governmental Studies program, coeditor of Media Polls in American Politics (1992), and coauthor of the Renewing Congress series (1993). Timothy Taylor is managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives at Stanford University.
Unpaid Annotation
It is not uncommon to hear that poor school performance, welfare dependancy, youth unemployment, and criminal activity result more from shortcomings in the personal makeup of individuals than from societal forces beyond their control. Are American values declining as so many suggest? And are those values at the root of many social problems today? Shaped by experience and public policies, people's values and social norms do change. What role can or should a democratic government play in shaping values? And how do these values conditon the efficacy of public policy? In this book, six distinguished social scientists identify trends in America's values and their consequences, and consider public policy tools with which some of those values might be changed. Daniel Yankelovich begins with a discussion of how American values have shifted in the last half-century, and argues that affluence is the driving force behind these changes in values. James Q. Wilson argues that destructive habits which can lead to social pathologies, like crime and drug use, are set early in life; he examines how public policy might intervene when children are young to promote better values. David Popenoe maintains that America has veered too far towards industrialist values, and explores the resulting decline of families and many attendant social ills. Nathan Glazer describes the history and present status of the dispute over multicultural education. Jane Mansbridge examines the process of building cooperation, consensus, and public spirit. And George Akerlof and Janet L. Yellen discuss the problem of gang criminality. Inthe past, social scientists have often sidestepped questions about values as undefinable, unquantifiable, and somehow unscientific. The essays in this volume address these questions at last. Henry J. Aaron, director of the Economic Studies program at Brookings, is the authorof numerous books, including most recently Ser
Table of Contents
Forewordp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Notep. 15
How Changes in the Economy Are Reshaping American Valuesp. 16
Overviewp. 17
Conclusionp. 50
Notesp. 51
Culture, Incentives, and the Underclassp. 54
Notesp. 75
The Family Condition of America Cultural Change and Public Policyp. 81
Notesp. 106
Multiculturalism and Public Policyp. 113
Notesp. 144
Public Spirit in Political Systemsp. 146
Notesp. 165
Gang Behavior, Law Enforcement, and Community Valuesp. 173
Appendixp. 196
Appendixp. 205
Indexp. 211
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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