The Uses of Disorder Personal Identity and City Life Richard Sennett

Publication date:
19 Sep 2008
224 pages: 216 x 138 x 19mm

Richard Sennett is one of the world's leading sociologists, and this book, first published in 1970, was his first single-authored work. It launched his exploration of communities and how they live in cities, and outlined his view that order breeds narrow, violence-prone lives, while an 'equilibrium of disorder' brings vigour and diversity to urban life. "The New York Times" described it as 'the best available contemporary defence of anarchism'. "The Uses of Disorder" followed the student and urban rebellions of the late 1960s. But it remains uncannily apposite to the problems of city life forty years on. In a new preface Sennett considers the response to the book over those years, and relates it to the circumstances faced by the inhabitants of cities in the twenty-first century. The body of the text remains unchanged, ready for a new generation of readers.

 Read more about Richard Sennett, winner of the Hegel Prize 2006, sociologist and author.

"'The issues Sennett raises are fundamental and profound. The book is utopian in the best sense - it tries to define a radically different future and to show that it could be constructed from the materials at hand.' New York Times Book Review 'We are prompted to think and dream and question old and tired cliches and some more recent ones, too, by an author whose mind is rich, wide-ranging, and, best of all, not afraid of life's ambiguities, not tempted to banish them all with ideological rhetoric' Robert Coles"