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Mark Freeman

In: Pathology and the Postmodern: Mental Illness as Discourse and Experience

Chapter 6: Modernists at Heart? Postmodern Artistic ‘Breakdowns’ and the Question of Identity

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Modernists at Heart? Postmodern Artistic ‘Breakdowns’ and the Question of Identity
Modernists at heart? Postmodern artistic ‘breakdowns’ and the question of identity
MarkFreeman
‘Illness’ and ‘Health’

There is perhaps no better introduction to (certain notable) ‘dilemmas of identity in contemporary life’ than Kenneth Gergen's well-known book The Saturated Self. As Gergen argues in the opening chapter of the book (‘The Self Under Siege’), ‘the process of social saturation is producing a profound change in our ways of understanding the self. … As we enter the postmodern era, all previous beliefs about the self are placed in jeopardy, and with them the patterns of action they sustain,’ such that ‘the very concept of personal essences is thrown into doubt. Selves as possessors of real and identifiable characteristics – such ...

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