How does Etzioni, in The Spirit of Community, engage the reader to be an active participant?

Expert Answers
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Spirit of Community, Amitai Etzioni claims that modern society has witnessed a growth of personal freedom, which is basically a good thing. But this growth of freedom has not been accompanied by a sense of personal responsibility. His solution is community activity, which seems to refer to a broad range of communities.

We can’t wait for change to trickle down from our nation’s capital. The restoration of our communities... must occur now, and is essential to reaffirm and communicate our shared values.

Etzioni calls for grass-roots action that should be supported by, but not necessarily imposed by, the state. An example of this might be youth service. This view is also founded on a belief in self-restraint, which he defines as "the capacity to control one's impulse and to mobilize oneself for acts other than the satisfaction of biological needs and immediate desires." He argues that we must act to instill shared values in our children and work to perpetuate them in society, which is best done through communities.