Identity, Politics, Planning: On Some Uses of Knowledge in Coping with Social Change

  • Richard Harvey Brown
Part of the Current Topics in Mental Health book series (CTMH)


This essay explores relations between moral agency on the personal level and collective self-direction on the societal level. We first discuss what may be called “the politics of identity”—the constraints and resources that individuals discover in their efforts to create a viable self. Then we suggest ways in which planned social change may be humanized—i.e., made more accessible to the control of societal members. The self-conception of persons as agents, we argue, is dialectically interdependent with a societal image of self-renewing institutions designed for and through citizens’ collaboration.


Social Change Moral Agency Garden City Social Planning Magical Trial 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Harvey Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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