David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd
Riesman's 1950 book, The Lonely Crowd, deals with modern sociology. In it Riesman wrote of the 'inner-directed' and 'other-directed' personalities. Riesman argues that the character of post WWII American society impels individuals to "other-directedness", the premier example being modern suburbia, where individuals seek their neighbors approval and fear being outcast from their community. This lifestyle has a coercive effect, which compels people to abandon "inner-direction" of their lives, and induces them to take on the goals, ideology, likes and dislikes of their community. Ironically, this creates a tightly grouped crowd of people that is yet incapable of truly fulfilling each other's desire for companionship. The book is considered a landmark study of American character.