The Radar Type

Helmut Lethen

in Cool Conduct

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520201095
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916418 | DOI:
The Radar Type

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter organizes the discussion presented here in terms of Riesman's model as a way of withdrawing the figure from a teleological perspective. It notes that Riesman recognizes the weakness of the radar type for dangerous collective enthusiasms, but in his construction the possibilities for autonomous movement do not rely on the model of inner-direction; rather Riesman dares to consider the other-direction and personal autonomy as of a piece, without resorting to the figure of the armored subject. It clarifies that the autonomy of the radar type is never an all-or-nothing affair, but the result of a largely imperceptible struggle with varieties of conformity. It notes that autonomy of this sort never produces heroes.

Keywords: Riesman; radar type; autonomous movement; autonomy; conformity

Chapter.  3062 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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