A Nation Of Meddlers by Charles Edgley, Dennis Brissett

By Charles Edgley, Dennis Brissett

There has been a time whilst the word “It’s none of your small business” intended anything. now not anymore. A boorish and protracted military of meddlers, outfitted with righteous indignation and a powerful array of theories and applied sciences, has made virtually everyone’s enterprise its personal. Meddling within the lives of others is now the republic’s so much obvious obsession. From nationwide crusades opposed to undesirable conduct reminiscent of consuming, smoking, and playing to the efforts of a bunch in Woodbury, Minnesota, to create a fragrance-free paintings atmosphere, american citizens are meddling into every one others lives as by no means sooner than. usually masquerading as social quandary or group involvement, the modern meddlers interfere within the identify of so much every little thing: overall healthiness, security, the commonweal, God, and “for the sake of the children.”Working in the symbolic interactionist culture of cultural research and feedback, Charles Edgley and Dennis Brissett examine this emergent phenomenon with insightful and provocative descriptions approximately how we got here to be this manner, why meddling is so beautiful, and the way meddling is packaged and advertised. Their end deals clever and occasionally witty cautions in regards to the right courting among the person and society.

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It has become instead an archetype of meddling. Our inability to prohibit alcohol may simply be seen in this context as an early historical failure, for 1920s-style prohibitionists might well have envied the success of their latter-day cousins in prohibiting tobacco, constructing a multibillion-dollar war on drugs, and fomenting crusades attempting to ban everything from fat to perfume. In fact, so ubiquitous—if not always successful—have these crusades been that their language permeates our culture.

8 In addition, Prohibition was a boon to the burgeoning medical profession, which used it as an opportunity to further its growing monopoly on drugs via the prescription system. As Thomas Szasz points out, in 1917 the delegates of the fledgling American Medical Association endorsed national Prohibition when it passed a resolution stating: "Resolved, the American Medical Association opposes the use of alcohol as a beverage; and be it further resolved, that the use of alcohol as a therapeutic agent should be discouraged" (Szasz, 1985: 197).

This was joined by the Anti-Cigarette Movement, the Social Hygiene Movement, The Society of Sanitary and Social Prophylaxis, various anti-alcohol movements that in the next few decades would coalesce into the vast experiment called prohibition, and a strident vegetarianism, (both moral and dietary) that would radically change, if not the entire world as its proponents had envisioned, at least what Americans ate for breakfast (Carson, 1957). The anti-masturbatory writings of vegetarian pseudo-scientists such as Sylvester Graham would have a profound impact on such visionaries as John Harvey Kellogg, who would eventually create the world's first mass-produced cold cereal in the hopes not only of exercising the colon but also of dampening sexual ardor.

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