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Book Cover
Author Lasch, Christopher.

Title The culture of narcissism : American life in an age of diminishing expectations / Christopher Lasch
Edition First edition
Published New York : Norton, 1978, c1979


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 W'PONDS  303.3720973 Las/Con  AVAILABLE
Description xviii, 268 pages ; 22 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
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
Analysis Social values
United States Moral conditions
United States Social conditions 1960-1980
Notes Includes a new afterword
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Social values.
Social Values.
United States -- Moral conditions.
United States -- Social conditions -- 1960-
United States -- Social conditions -- 1960-1980.
LC no. 78016233
ISBN 0393011771
0393307387 (paperback)