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 Regulated Self

The regulated self

If accounts of post-traditional societies and reflexive selves can seem excessively celebratory, what is the alternative? Critical discussion in the previous chapter suggested that conceptualizing self-identity in relation to social change needs to acknowledge how self-reflexive projects are embedded in social, cultural and corporeal contexts. Other theoretical models have paid closer attention to the ways in which fundamental processes of self-awareness and identification are socially structured and constructed. A key figure behind such models is Michel Foucault. His legacy is extensive and has been developed, researched, questioned and debated to a remarkable degree, particularly in relation to feminism. Needless to say it is beyond the means of this chapter to keep abreast with the many nuances of these conversations. The ...

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