Corporate networking, compulsive consumerism, plastic surgery, therapeutic tribulations, instant identity makeovers and reality TV: welcome to life in our increasingly individualized world. In this dazzling book, Anthony Elliott and Charles Lemert explore the culture of the ‘new individualism’ generated by global capitalism and develop a major new perspective on people’s emotional experiences of globalization.
The New Individualism offers fascinating, but disturbing, accounts of people struggling to cope with a new individualism reshaping the world today. There is Larry, a high-tech executive ‘emotionally wrecked by success’; there is Ruth, a married woman in her late fifties, typing real-time erotica in cyberspace; there is Norman, a recovering drug addict infected with HIV, reinventing himself by accepting the deadly worlds for what they are; and Caoimhe and Annie, two little girls only beginning to explore the disorientating effects of the new individualism.
This book powerfully cuts against the grain of current orthodoxies that view globalization as corrosive of private life. Elliott and Lemert argue that today’s worlds are not only risky but deadly. Yet there is hope, the authors contend, beyond the complexities.
Voted into the 50 Best Management Books For 2006 by The Australian Financial Review.
Introduction 1. Individualism for Beginners 2. Was the Free Individual Just a Dream? 3. Living in a Privatized World? 4. On the Individualist Arts of Sex 5. The Self and Other Ethical Troubles 6. Surviving the New Individualism