This accessible and assured book offers readers a new take on the central question of the relation between the individual and society. It offers a thorough, informed and critical guide to the field. It demonstrates how global economic and employment structures, neo-liberal discourse, the role of emotion, irrationality, and ambiguity are factors that impact upon the shape and resilience of the self.

Self and Social Change

Self and social change

The story of social change in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is a complex and contested one. It is worth stating at the outset that attempting to separate out social changes is an analytic process. As soon as we pull them apart they snap back into a complex inter-related whole. ‘Social change is both a specific and a multifaceted phenomenon’ states one commentator (Jordan, 2002: 300). It might be fruitful to consider the elements of social change described below in a way similar to Donna Haraway (1997). Although she categorizes change slightly differently, the main areas are described as multiple ‘horns’ of a ‘wormhole’. Haraway's language is characteristically vivid here; the metaphor of a wormhole is ...

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