Working Together: How Workplace Bonds Strengthen a Diverse Democracy

By Cynthia Estlund | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Part Two

Thus far we have seen that workplace associations can and often do foster cooperation, sociability, and connectedness across boundaries of family and neighborhood and, critically, across cleavages of race, ethnicity, and other lines of social division. Yet the argument so far has only hinted at the relationship between the interpersonal ties that form at the workplace and the healthy functioning of a democratic society. Before launching that more theoretical inquiry, let me restate in general terms my claim about the relationship between workplace ties and democratic life.

The success and vitality of the democratic project depends on some sense of interdependence and common fate and some ability to empathize, cooperate, and communicate among citizens from different families, neighborhoods, and communities. These interpersonal ties are especially important, yet less common, across lines of social division such as race that have been the basis for discrimination and segregation. A liberal democratic society that is devoted to freedom as well as to equality necessarily tolerates discrimination and self-segregation in many spheres of private life—in individual decisions about where and with whom to live and form families, friendships, and other private associations. That freedom has contributed to a continuing legacy of racial separation in families, neighborhoods, and many voluntary associations. Segregation, in turn, limits the society's store of shared knowledge and empathy regarding the conditions of life across group lines.

Personal ties across those lines of division are essential to building the citizens' will and ability to overcome divisions, to craft compromise and consensus in the face of conflict, and to combat the subtle and intransigent sources of inequality that remain in American society. The proliferation of those ties depends upon the existence of a domain in which people find it necessary to get along and get things done with others with whom they would not otherwise choose to associate, or with whom they would not choose to


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Working Together: How Workplace Bonds Strengthen a Diverse Democracy


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 240

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?