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 The competitive edge: Dietary competition played a key role in the evolution of early primates
01.08.2018 | Grand Valley State University

nachricht Diversity and education influence India’s population growth
31.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>