Sennett in 2010
1 January 1943|
Chicago, Illinois, US
|Known for||Studies of social ties in cities|
Saskia Sassen (m. 1987)
|Academic advisors||David Riesman, Erik Erikson, Oscar Handlin|
Richard Sennett OBE FBA FRSL (born 1 January 1943) is the Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and former University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. He is currently a Senior Fellow of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University. Sennett has studied social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on individuals in the modern world.
He has been a Fellow of The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Royal Society of Literature. He is the founding director of the New York Institute for the Humanities. In 2006, Sennett was the winner of the Hegel Prize awarded by the German city of Stuttgart, in 2008 he was awarded the Gerda Henkel Prize, worth 100,000 Euros, by the Gerda Henkel Foundation of Düsseldorf, Germany, and in 2016 he received the European Essay Prize awarded by the Charles Veillon Foundation in Lausanne. Sennett was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to design in the 2018 New Year Honours and in July 2018 he was elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).
Early life and education
Sennett grew up in the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago, in a family of Russian emigres. As a child he trained in music, studying the cello and conducting, working with Claus Adam of the Juilliard String Quartet and the conductor Pierre Monteux. When a hand injury put an end to his musical career, he entered academia. He studied under David Riesman, Erik Erikson, and Oscar Handlin at Harvard, graduating with his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization in 1969. His intellectual life as an urbanist came into focus during the time he spent as a fellow of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of Harvard and MIT.
Sennett's scholarly writing centers on the development of cities, the nature of work in modern society, and the sociology of culture. Families Against the City, his earliest book, examines the relationship between family and work in 19th-century Chicago. A subsequent quartet of books explores urban life more largely: The Uses of Disorder, an essay on identity formation in cities; The Fall of Public Man, a history of public culture and public space, particularly in London, Paris, and New York in the 18th and 19th Centuries; The Conscience of the Eye, a study of how Renaissance urban design passed into modern city planning, and Flesh and Stone, an overview of the design of cities from ancient to modern times.
Another quartet of books is devoted to labor. The Hidden Injuries of Class is a study of class consciousness among working-class families in Boston; The Corrosion of Character explores how new forms of work are changing our communal and personal experience; Respect probes the relation of work and reforms of the welfare system; and The Culture of the New Capitalism provides an overview of these changes. Authority is an essay in political theory; it addresses the tools of interpretation by which we recast raw power into either legitimate or illegitimate authority.
Sennett is working on a project called 'Homo Faber,' exploring material ways of making culture. The first book in this series is The Craftsman, published in 2008; subsequent volumes are Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation, published in 2012, and Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City (2018) on the making of the urban environment.
In the public realm, Sennett founded, and directed for a decade, the New York Institute of the Humanities at New York University. Sennett then chaired a United Nations commission on urban development and design. As president of the American Council on Work, Sennett led a forum, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, for researchers trying to understand the changing pattern of American labor. Most recently he helped create, and has chaired, the LSE Cities Programme at the London School of Economics. The Urban Age project also emerged as a product of the research and ideas by Sennett and others at LSE Cities. In 2006, he served as Chair of the jury of the Venice Biennale.
- Nineteenth Century Cities: Essays In The New Urban History, coauthor, Yale (1969)
- Classic Essays On The Culture Of Cities, editor (1969), ISBN 0-13-135194-X
- The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity & City Life (1970), ISBN 0-393-30909-6
- Families Against the City: Middle Class Homes of Industrial Chicago, 1872-1890, Harvard (1970), ISBN 0-674-29226-X
- The Hidden Injuries of Class, with Jonathan Cobb, Knopf (1972), ISBN 0-393-31085-X
- The Fall of Public Man, Knopf (1977), ISBN 0-14-100757-5
- Authority (1980), ISBN 0-571-16189-8
- The Conscience of the Eye: The design and social life of cities, Faber and Faber (1991), ISBN 0-393-30878-2
- Flesh and Stone: The Body And The City In Western Civilization, Norton (1994), ISBN 0-393-31391-3
- The Corrosion of Character, The Personal Consequences Of Work In the New Capitalism, Norton (1998), ISBN 0-393-31987-3
- Respect in a World of Inequality, Penguin (2003), ISBN 0-393-32537-7
- The Culture of the New Capitalism, Yale (2006), ISBN 0-300-11992-5
- The Craftsman, Allen Lane (2008), ISBN 978-0-7139-9873-3
- The Foreigner: Two Essays on Exile, Notting Hill (2011), ISBN 1-907903-08-9
- Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation, Yale (2012), ISBN 0-300-11633-0
- Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2018), ISBN 9780374200336
- The Quito Papers and the New Urban Agenda, Routledge (2018), ISBN 978-0815379294
- The Frog Who Dared to Croak (1982), ISBN 0-374-15884-3
- An Evening of Brahms (1984)
- Palais-Royal (1986), ISBN 0-393-31251-8
Literature on Richard Sennett
- Dominik Skala: Urbanität als Humanität. Anthropologie und Sozialethik im Stadtdenken Richard Sennetts. Paderborn: Schoeningh (2015), ISBN 978-3-506-78394-3
- Igor Pelgreffi: "Soggetto, tecnica, scrittura. Su How I write: Sociology as Literature di Richard Sennett ", in M. Iofrida (Eds) Officine Filosofiche, 2, Mucchi, Modena 2015, pp. 95-108 ISBN 978-88-7000-653-7
- Igor Pelgreffi: "Qualità artigianale del lavoro. Elementi per un'antropologia filosofica in Richard Sennett", in M. Iofrida (Eds) Officine Filosofiche, 3, Mucchi, Modena 2016, pp. 95–108 ISBN 978-88-7000-707-7
- "Richard Sennett | The Center on Capitalism and Society". capitalism.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
- LSE: "Richard Sennett wins prestigious Hegel Prize", 30 November 2006
- "Richard Sennett nimmt Gerda Henkel Preis 2008 entgegen - Wolfgang Frühwald: 'Es gibt in der Literatur einen Sennett-Ton'" (in German)
- Charles Veillon Foundation: , March 2016
- "Record number of academics elected to British Academy | British Academy". British Academy. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
- Melissa Benn: "Inner-city scholar" in The Guardian, 3 February 2001
- London School of Economics: "Professor Richard Sennett", retrieved 25 May 2013
- David Runciman: "Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-operation by Richard Sennett – review", in The Guardian, 3 February 2012
- "Building and Dwelling, Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett". www.penguin.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
- Richard Sennett Comes To Mit / Balzan Prize Finalist Will Relinquish Post at NYU - PLAN issue 62 published Oct, 2005
- Sennett, Richard (11 May 2007). "Richard Sennett: An inferior Bill Clinton". the Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
- "Richard Sennett - The Center on Capitalism and Society". capitalism.columbia.edu. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
- "How do architecture and society interrelate? - Ditchley Foundation". www.ditchley.co.uk. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
- Official website
- LSE faculty profile
- Guardian: Richard Sennett
- Article (09/2005)
- Article (02/2001)
- Interview (01/2006)
- BBC (01/2006)
- Guantánamo in Germany (with Saskia Sassen) in The Guardian, 21 August 2007 (concerning arrest of German sociologist Andrej Holm suspected of links to the Militante gruppe (mg))
- Discussion on Craft and skills
- NewYork Times Book Review (April 6, 2008)
- Audio: Richard Sennett in conversation on the BBC World Service discussion show The Forum
- Richard Sennett, No one likes a city that's too smart, 4 December 2012
- Audio: We have lost the balance between cooperation and competition, L.I.S.A.interview 12 July 2012