chapter  24
Connecting the World of Thought
WithReed Ueda
Pages 4

Nat Glazer's approach to the study of society is innovative and multifaceted. He had a direct link to the humanistic approach to sociology through his mentor and coauthor, David Riesman. Riesman was trained as a lawyer at Harvard, but he departed from legal studies to find an unorthodox pathway toward sociology. Nat's scholarship reflected a creative engagement with theory and method that was shaped by his collaborative work with Riesman. As a junior coauthor to Riesman in The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character, Nat assisted in the development of a seminal theory of American character. Drawing upon multiple social science and humanities disciplines, The Lonely Crowd propounded a model of the evolution of American character from tradition-directed, to inner-directed, to other-directed types. These corresponded to demographic shifts in the American population that could be visualized over time as a curve with points of acceleration and deceleration in the rate of growth.