Complicated Lives: The Malaise of Modernity by Michael Willmott

By Michael Willmott

Advanced Lives examines the best conundrum of the fashionable international: why, regardless of being richer, more fit and extra empowered than ever earlier than, will we proceed to consider threatened, stressed and under pressure? there isn't any denying that we have now by no means had it so stable, but the stark fact is that degrees of happiness are unchanged because the Nineteen Fifties. supplying techniques and insights for keeping off 'the malaise of modernity' while exploiting confident reviews the twenty first century has to supply, Michael Willmott and William Nelson take readers on a trip of self-discovery into the realities of existence in trendy advanced, multi-channel global.

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Does it necessarily mean that people are becoming more selfish and less interested in being members of groups or engaging with communities? The answer to this question is a resounding ‘no’ – as we shall see in the next chapter. This is why we call this the ‘new’ individualism – it is not about the individual as opposed to society, but about how people’s sense of identity is increasingly complex, nuanced, and self-aware1 . The ‘self ’ is now something we seek to understand and express, not something we simply accept.

It is no coincidence that in a complicated society we worry more, and about more trivial things. But it is also the case that having more worries in turn makes life more complicated. So, the concerns about diet and health, illness and disease, security and safety, for ourselves and our children and loved ones, generate a bewildering set of decisions that have to be made on a daily basis. Even though most risks are smaller (longevity would not be increasing so dramatically if this was not the case), we are more aware of them, often exaggerating their real threat.

As societies develop, security (safety and roof over the head) becomes more important, then after that what Maslow called ‘socialisation’ – a need for community and belonging. The final stages are self-esteem and self-actualisation. The former is associated with lifestyles focusing on status-driven consumption, or what some commentators have labelled ‘competitive consumption’, while the latter is less concerned with appearance and more with personal development, quality of life and with wider concerns.

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