This issue is devoted to a single article on individualism and social structure. The point of it is that individualism is not simply a cultural or ideological term to be understood as the perview of intellectual historians and politicians. Rather, it is a term that describes something real that exists in the social world and so can be given an extended, accurate and objective description despite the fact that various aspects of the phenomenon are discovered only over the course of centuries. Notwithstanding that fact, individualism is discovered rather than invented. Three theories of individuality, those of Talcott Parsons, Erik Erikson and Georg Simmel, are examined for their adequacy at describing something that happens in the world.
The purpose of this e-journal is to use in tandem the techniques of literary criticism and social structural analysis to illuminate American politics and the various institutions in American society and sometimes matters more global, like religion or war, by turning an eye on the events and objects and performances that are considered art and entertainment, those defined broadly enough to include whatever is covered in newspapers and other media. Another concern is to pick up the texture of social life, both in the United States and in general, through the analysis of those events, objects and performances that are to be found in everyday life.