The New Individualism
The Emotional Costs of Globalization REVISED EDITION, 2nd Edition
Routledge – 2009 – 222 pages
This is a new and revised edition of a book which has had a major impact upon the social sciences and public political debate. Anthony Elliott and Charles Lemert's THE NEW INDIVIDUALISM inspired readers with the dramatic suggestion that 'the reinvention craze' - from self-help and therapy culture to management restructurings and corporate downsizings - is central to a 'new individualism' sweeping the globe. Giving particular attention to the narratives of people seeking to define anew their lives in an age of globalization, the authors contend that an endless hunger for instant change and relentless emphasis on self-reinvention is fundamental to grasping the disorientating effects of the new individualism.
This edition contains a substantial new Introduction in which Elliott and Lemert reply to some of the standard criticisms made of the theory of the new individualism, and also addresses the escalation of new individualist thinking in the wake of recent global crises.
'It's not a business book, but these two sociologists have some interesting things to say about the way we construct our identities in the age of Botox.' Voted into the 50 Best Management Books For 2006 by The Australian Financial Review.
'An inspiring book.'………….Professor Ulrich Beck, British Journal of Sociology
'This thought-provoking book is essential reading for social scientists.'…………..Journal of Sociology
'In The New Individualism Anthony Elliott and Charles Lemert have infused high theory with a sense of what it means for everyday life. Blending a discussion of theory with case histories they take us into the heart of the contemporary dilemmas of globalisation, and the growing inequalities--and awareness of these inequalities--that create a growing sense of unease within even the most prosperous of societies. This is an important contribution to the sociology of a world marked both by increasing fear and unprecedented consumption.'……Dennis Altman, Professor of Politics, LaTrobe University. Author of Global Sex and Gore Vidal's America.
Bringing sociology down to earth the authors force us to confront the disturbing consequences of the new individualism. A powerful account of the implosion of private life.'……..Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology, University of Kent at Canterbury. Author of Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability In An Anxious Age, Routledge 2003.
'The New Individualism provides us with an original analysis of what is happening to our day-to-day life, and therefore our psyches, under globalization […] Clearly written and well argued, this book will provide an important tool for anyone struggling to come to terms with our complex world.'……….Drucilla Cornell, Professor of Political Science, Women and Gender studies and Comparative Literature, Rutgers University.
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
ANTHONY ELLIOTT is Professor and Chair of Sociology at Flinders University, Australia and Visiting Research Professor at the Open University, UK. His recent books, all published by Routledge, include Contemporary Social Theory: An Introduction (2009), The Routledge Companion to Social Theory (2010) and Globalization (2010).
CHARLES LEMERT is John C. Andrus Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University, USA. His recent books include Thinking The Unthinkable (2007), Social Theory (4E, 2009) and Globalization (2010).