Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Self-reinvention a dangerous addiction, experts warn

26.09.2005


The 21st century craze to constantly reinvent ourselves is a dangerous addiction that can ruin lives, according to a controversial new book by sociologists Anthony Elliott (University of Kent) and Charles Lemert (Wesleyan University, USA).



The New Individualism: The Emotional Cost of Globalization, published by Routledge on 26 October 2005, is one of the first books to explore the personal and emotional impact of globalisation on real people, rather than its political or economic effects.

The book looks at the pressure consumerism puts on us to change and ‘improve’ every aspect of ourselves: not just our homes and gardens but our careers, our food, our clothes, our sex lives, our faces, minds and bodies.


The results, it warns, can be destructive: emotional crisis, depression, confusion, breakdown, loss of personal identity and even suicide.

Anthony Elliot says, ‘People are getting hooked on the process of reinventing themselves but they are losing sight of why they began and what they are trying to achieve.

‘Individualism used to be about constructing a private and stable identity for ourselves independent from the world. But the new individualism encourages us to change so completely and so rapidly that our identity becomes disposable.

‘Instead of finding ourselves, we lose ourselves. That can be very damaging to our emotional, mental and physical health.’

The New Individualism: The Emotional Cost of Globalization explores the dark side of self-reinvention through research, interviews and real-life stories. These include: a young woman whose quest for the perfect body leads to multiple cosmetic surgery operations bordering on self-mutilation; a technology entrepreneur who turns obsessively to self-help books and therapy in a bid to gain the same control over his inner feelings as he has over his business empire; a middle-aged woman who reinvents herself online through cybersex chat rooms. As the boundaries between reality and her Internet fantasies begin to blur, her marriage crumbles and the stability of her life comes under threat.

‘It’s ironic that while globalisation and advances in technology give us absolute freedom to do whatever we like, the way we use that freedom is often arbitrary, futile and ultimately unsatisfying,’ says Elliott.

Using examples from the compulsive shopper looking for the next quick credit card fix to the serial ‘love rat’ addicted to short-term affairs, The New Individualism: The Emotional Cost of Globalization shows that the emotional costs of globalisation are high.

Karen Baxter | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kent.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>