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.

The Reflexive Self

The reflexive self

The old rules about what we are allowed, or supposed to do and be at each life stage have been torn up. To a large degree, we make our own futures now, which is both a new freedom and a new pressure.

(Editorial comment, Psychologies magazine, November 2005)

Since the early 1990s there has been a proliferation of interest in the concept of reflexivity as a dimension of contemporary identity. Originally a grammatical term, in the context of identity it refers to the act of an individual subject directing awareness towards itself; reflecting upon its own practices, preferences and even the process of reflection itself. The publication of Anthony Giddens's Modernity and Self-Identity (1991) played a key part in generating interest for ...

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