David Riesman quotes

  • Men are created different; they lose their social freedom and their individual autonomy in seeking to become like each other.
    -- David Riesman

    #Men #Class #Different

  • Words not only affect us temporarily; they change us, they socialize or unsocialize us.
    -- David Riesman

  • A spurious democracy has influenced both our research methods (I am sometimes tempted to define "validity" as part of the context of an experiment demanding so little in the way of esoteric gift that any number can play at it, provided they have taken a certain number of courses) and our research subjects (it would be deemed snobbish to investigate only the best people).
    -- David Riesman

    #Taken #Play #Numbers

  • Drivers in a traffic jam, frustrated by each others presence, are not the most amiable of men.
    -- David Riesman

    #Men #Frustrated #Jam

  • It is among the less privileged groups relatively new to leisure and consumption that the zest for possessions retains something of its pristine energy.
    -- David Riesman

    #Zest #Energy #Groups

  • If anything remains more or less unchanged, it will be the role of women.
    -- David Riesman

    #Roles #Remains

  • Today the future occupation of all moppets is to be skilled consumers.
    -- David Riesman

    #Occupation #Today #Consumers

  • Look at all the sentences which seem true and question them.
    -- David Riesman

    #Looks #Sentences

  • The premonition of death may for many be a stimulus to novelty of experience: the imminence of death serves to sweep away the inessential preoccupations for those who do not flee from the thought of death into triviality.
    -- David Riesman

    #May #Novelty #Preoccupation

  • In preindustrial cultures leisure is scarcely a burden or a "problem" because it is built into the ritual and ground plan of life for which people are conditioned in childhood; often they possess a relatively timeless attitude toward events.
    -- David Riesman

    #Attitude #People #Childhood

  • It is not new for the older generation to bewail the indolence of the young, and there is a tendency for the latter to maintain much of the older ethic screened by a new semantics and an altered ideology.
    -- David Riesman

    #Generations #Ethics #Young

  • There has been a change in heroes within the working-class community
    -- David Riesman

    #Hero #Class #Community

  • There is evidence that young men in the big law firms, although they still work harder than most of their clients, do not glory in putting in night work and weekend hours as they once did.
    -- David Riesman

    #Hard Work #Night #Men

  • The ethical regime [of the Jews] was quite definitely Ptolemaic, revolving around the small group of Jews, not the larger Gentile group and, accordingly, they learned to remain unimpressed by Gentile temporal power. Being unimpressed did not mean being unafraid material power might beat or starve one to death; it did mean refusing to surrender moral hegemony to the majority merely because it had power.
    -- David Riesman

    #Mean #Majority #Groups

  • Though top executives may work as hard as ever-in part perhaps because, being trained in an earlier day, they can hardly help doing so-their subordinates are somewhat less work-minded.
    -- David Riesman

    #Work #May #Helping

  • The closest thing we have to the traditional ideology of the leisure class is a group of artists and intellectuals who regard their work as play and their play as work.
    -- David Riesman

    #Work #Artist #Class

  • The modern suburb is the product of the car, the five-day week, and the "bankers' hours" of the masses.
    -- David Riesman

    #Car #Bankers #Week

  • The children themselves, before they get access to a car, are captives of their suburb, save for those families where the housewives surrender continuity in their own lives to chauffeur their children to lessons, doctors, and other services that could be reached via public transport in the city.
    -- David Riesman

    #Children #Doctors #Cities

  • Etiquette can be at the same time a means of approaching people and of staying clear of them.
    -- David Riesman

    #Mean #People #Manners

  • Our society offers little in the way of reeducation for those who have been torn away from their traditional culture and suddenly exposed to all the blandishments of mass culture-even the churches which follow the hillbillies to the city often make use of the same "hard sell" that the advertisers and politicians do.
    -- David Riesman

    #Education #Cities #Church

  • A decline of exuberance is just barely noticeable in America, making itself felt particularly among the most highly educated and the well-to-do in a loss of appetite for work and perhaps even for leisure.
    -- David Riesman

    #Loss #America #Leisure

  • Nowadays, truth is the greatest news. The mass media are the wholesalers, the peer groups, the retailers of the communications industry.
    -- David Riesman

    #Communication #Media #Gossip

  • It is no longer clear which way is up even if one wants to rise.
    -- David Riesman

    #Class #Want #Way

  • The media, far from being a conspiracy to dull the political sense of the people, could be viewed as a conspiracy to disguise the extent of political indifference.
    -- David Riesman

    #Media #People #Empathy

  • If you want to get out of medicine the fullest enjoyment, be students all your lives.
    -- David Riesman

    #Medicine #Enjoy Life #Want

  • Those who are excluded from meaningful work are, by an large, excluded from meaningful play.
    -- David Riesman

    #Meaningful #Play #Meaningful Work

  • Social Science … led us to the fallacy that, since all men have their being in culture and as a result of culture, they owe a debt to that culture which even a lifetime of altruism could not repay.
    -- David Riesman

    #Men #Culture #Debt

  • Why, I ask, isn't it possible that advertising as a whole is a fantastic fraud, presenting an image of America taken seriously by no one, least of all by the advertising men who create it?
    -- David Riesman

    #Taken #Men #America

  • One of the things people are fleeing when they leave the city is the need either to reject people who are less well educated than themselves, or to accept them with all that implies for their children's education and future placement in the society.
    -- David Riesman

    #Children #Cities #People

  • The situation of the factory worker today is reminiscent in certain respects of that of the nineteenth-century capitalist whose wife dragged him reluctantly toward "culture" and away from his "materialistic" preoccupations.
    -- David Riesman

    #Wife #Today #Culture

  • Mass entertainment in America has been dominated for a long time by the mode of documentary realism.
    -- David Riesman

    #America #Long #Documentaries

  • America is not only big and rich, it is mysterious; and its capacity for the humorous or ironical concealment of its interests matches that of the legendary inscrutable Chinese.
    -- David Riesman

    #Humorous #America #Chinese