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Amitai Etzioni

            In Amitai Etzioni's chapter, "Back to We," strong emphasis is placed on the need for a "communitarian nexus" (124) that would be able to repair the moral infrastructure of the gesellschaft, the German term used to define a large community with few bonds (116). To remedy and restore the "moral voice", Etzioni advocates the importance of reviving the gemeinschaft or small community by encouraging stronger social networks within the gesellschaft. By having both the gesellschaft and gemeinschaft coexist, people are given an opportunity to expose themselves to diversity and "pluralism" (125) without the concern of being morally corrupted. Etzioni points out that the gemeinschaft is exemplified through the various subcommunities that define the whole community. With such a large number of subcommunities, there is not a lack of diversity. However, the integration of the gemeinschaft into the gesellschaft will not alone create the "communitarian nexus". Along with diversity comes differences that are difficult to ignore. Subcommunities must overcome diversity and differences among each other to form an unified community. It is when subcommunities overcome this friction that a "communitarian nexus" will truly exist. Raised as a second generation child, I am directly confronted in a web of two ethnic subcommunities: the Vietnamese and American communities. I have found it to be a continuing battle to integrate both cultures into my life. Trying to retain my Vietnamese heritage in a predominantly American culture have been a struggle. However, with effort and perseverance, I agree with Etzioni's theory that diversity and unity can peacefully coincide.
             Etzioni advocates that tensions among subcommunities will continue plague us unless we make stronger efforts in alleviating this friction. By mentioning the recession of 1991-1992, he reminds us that the problem is far from being solved. By referring to this recession, Etzioni provides a solid, concrete fact that magnifies the tension lurking among the subcommunities.

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