Concepts of the Self

Front Cover
Polity, Dec 17, 2007 - Social Science - 185 pages
2 Reviews
This new and updated edition of Concepts of the Self remains the most lively, lucid and compelling introduction to contemporary controversies over the self and self-identity in the social sciences. Written by an author of international reputation, the book concentrates mainly on the work of social theorists and cultural analysts who have attempted to place the self in relation to psychological processes, social contexts, and historical perspectives.


Mead, Freud, Goffman, Foucault, Chodorow, Kristeva and Baudrillard are among the figures covered; the new edition also introduces material on Zizek. Elliott also connects debates about the self directly to identity politics, the sociology of personal relationships and intimacy, and the politics of sexuality.

The book focuses upon cultural and political issues, and breaks new ground in integrating interdisciplinary perspectives. In analysing debates about the self, Elliott draws extensively on contemporary social and cultural theory. Among the traditions of thought discussed are symbolic interactionism; modern sociology; post-structuralist thought; feminist and queer theory; psychoanalysis; and postmodernism.

Elliott reviews core concepts of the self through an analysis of several connected themes: the complex relation between self and society; the importance of the interpreting self in social life; the reshaping of processes of self-formation; and, the changing character of identity politics. The new edition continues to break new ground by introducing compelling, contemporary material on the globalization of the self.

Concepts of the Self is an accessible and invaluable introductory text for students in the areas of social and political theory, sociology, social psychology, cultural studies, and gender studies.
  

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Magnificently Introductory. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Self Society and Everyday Life
28
The Repression of Self
53
Technologies of the Self
85
Self Sexuality and Gender
112
The Postmodern Self
138
Conclusion
162
Index
173
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 9 - We are selves only in that certain issues matter for us. What I am as a self, my identity, is essentially defined by the way things have significance for me.

References to this book

Understanding People
Trevor Butt
No preview available - 2004
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About the author (2007)

Anthony Elliott is Professor of Sociology at Flinders University.

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