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The culture of narcissism : American life in an age of diminishing expectations

Author: Christopher Lasch
Publisher: New York : Norton, 1991, ©1979.
Edition/Format:   Book : English : Norton pbk. 1991 edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Argues that American society has become increasingly self-absorbed, focused on self-gratification to the exclusion of higher values, and that the mass narcissism of the culture is based on fear.
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christopher Lasch
ISBN: 0393307387 : 9780393307382
OCLC Number: 24081067
Notes: Includes a new afterword.
Description: xviii, 282 p. ; 21 cm.
Contents: The awareness movement and the social invasion of the self. The waning of the sense of historical time --
The therapeutic sensibility --
From politics to self-examination --
Confession and anticonfession --
The void within --
The progressive critique of privatism --
The critique of privatism: Richard Sennett on the fall of public man --
The narcissistic personality of our time. Narcissism as a metaphor of the human condition --
Psychology and sociology --
Narcissism in recent clinical literature --
Social influences on narcissism --
The world view of the resigned --
Changing modes of making it: from Horatio Alger to the Happy Hooker. The original meaning of the work ethic --
From "self-culture" to self-promotion through "winning images" --
The eclipse of achievement --
The art of social survival --
The apotheosis of individualism --
The banality of pseudo-self-awareness: theatrics of politics and everyday existence. The propaganda of commodities --
Truth and credibility --
Advertising and propaganda --
Politics as spectacle --
Radicalism as street theater --
Hero worship and narcissistic idealization --
Narcissism and the theater of the absurd --
The theater of everyday life --
Ironic detachment as an escape from routine --
No exit --
The degradation of sport. The spirit of play versus the rage for national uplift --
Huizinga on Homo Ludens --
The critique of sport --
The trivialization of athletics --
Imperialism and the cult of the strenuous life --
Corporate loyalty and competition --
Bureaucracy and "teamwork" --
Sports and the entertainment industry --
Leisure as escape --
Schooling and the new illiteracy. The spread of stupefaction --
The atrophy of competence --
Historical origins of the modern school system --
From industrial discipline to manpower selection --
From Americanization to "life adjustment" --
Basic education versus national defense education --
The civil rights movement and the schools --
Cultural pluralism and the new paternalism --
The rise of the multiversity --
Cultural "elitism" and its critics --
Education as a commodity --
The socialization of reproduction and the collapse of authority. The "socialization of workingmen" --
The juvenile court --
Parent education --
Permissiveness reconsidered --
The cult of authenticity --
Psychological repercussions of the "transfer of functions" --
Narcissism, schizophrenia, and the family --
Narcissism and the "absent father" --
The abdication of authority and the transformation of the superego --
The family's relation to other agencies of social control --
Human relations on the job: the factory as a family --
The flight from feelings: sociopsychology of the sex war. The trivialization of personal relations --
The battle of the sexes: its social history --
The sexual "revolution" --
Togetherness --
Feminism and the intensification of sexual warfare --
Strategies of accommodation --
The castrating woman of male fantasy --
The soul of man and woman under socialism --
The shattered faith in the regeneration of life. The dread of old age --
Narcissism and old age --
The social theory of aging: "growth" as planned obsolescence --
Prolongevity: the biological theory of aging --
Paternalism without father. The new rich and the old --
The managerial and professional elite as a ruling class --
Progressivism and the rise of new paternalism --
Liberal criticism of the welfare state --
Bureaucratic dependence and narcissism --
The conservative critique of bureaucracy --
Afterord: The culture of narcissism revisited.
Responsibility: Christopher Lasch.

Abstract:

A larger format second edition of this work of social and cultural criticism concerning the narcissism and self-interest of the "Me Decade", which has a new "Afterword" in which the author comments  Read more...

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Cultural history at its best. . . . Provokes, startles, and keeps the reader arguing with himself as well as with the writer. . . . A book of fundamental importance. --Bruce Mazlish, Massachusetts Read more...

 
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