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

Inner-Directed or Other-Directed Character? Agency and Citizenship in Mass Society

Inner-directed or other-directed character? Agency and citizenship in mass society

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of having it … That we often derive sorrow from the sorrow of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it.

(AdamSmith, 1790, TMS: I.i.I.1–2, p. 9)

The Demise of Differences

Individualization has been the basis of the problematic of justification in modern capitalism. It has three aspects: individual biography, autonomy and intimacy. As Axel Honneth (2004) has pointed out, sociology has contained ...

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