Carefully analyzing the impact of the rise of consumer society it deftly argues that the saturation of the modern ideals of progress, individualism, and the democratic state has limited lifestyle regulation to stressing the self-responsibility of individuals within a free market. The book critically examines:Neo-Liberal ideology and the free marketThe Sociology of ModernityThe New Consumer SocietyCitizenship in Mass SocietyThe power of AutonomyThe interaction of Regulation and Agency

Introduction: The Problem of Justification

Introduction: The problem of justification

Society is not a thing; it is the name of an idea.

(Howard S.Becker)1

The Threat of Culture to Itself

The regulation of lifestyles, indeed of life itself, is a burning political and moral issue in contemporary advanced societies. Science and technology have opened unforeseen possibilities for human culture to manipulate, even create natural phenomena. Nature is striking back. The global environment is not in control, but neither are less global concerns. Obesity, addictions, preventable health problems and many other risks depend on cultural practices, yet they lend themselves with great difficulty to conscious efforts of control. Gene technology, brain research, diagnostic techniques and advanced medical technologies are offering improved possibilities to make rational decisions on life and lifestyles, ...

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