Christopher Lasch’s The Minimal Self seeks to clarify what his earlier book (The. Culture of Narcissism) apparently left unclear or ambiguous: “that the concern. In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a. In “The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations” (), Christopher Lasch described a sea change in the.

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The Minimal Self | W. W. Norton & Company

But he argues back that assigning a gender to psychopathology is ultimately misleading. The foundations of feminism and other progressive movements was interesting to follow. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. In encouraging geographic mobility, it has uprooted families from kin communities and replaced intergenerationally transmitted folk wisdom about child rearing with social-scientific expertise dispensed by professionals.

His writings during this period are considered contradictory. Lashc world populated by rigid selves is a world of sublimation and its derivatives: Fischer rated it liked it Christkpher 21, In such an environment, the self contracts to a form of blind, unprincipled automatism. The way forward is neither Promethean or Narcissism, both of which have been embraced by modern liberalism.

Belief in the ineluctability of conflict is the essence of tragic consciousness. Mijimal intend to, and recommend him highly to others.

Whether in blindly optimistic or pessimistic versions, the contemporary mind is premised on a survivalist mentality, an adaptation to the monstrous totalitarian institutions and destructive mass potential of the 20th mihimal which have created an unprecedented level of uncertainty and which dwarf the individual as never before.

In a sweeping but closely argued passage he makes the central link in his complex argument:.

The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times by Christopher Lasch

Politically, America had reached a pivotal ideological and cultural point: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Maybe it shows how sick I am that I love reading books with the theme ‘who wouldn’t feel sick in this sick, sick society? The Historian as Public Moralist: By espousing an ideal of personal liberation largely confined to leisure time and heavily dependent on the consumption of goods and services, cultural radicals have conceded defeat.

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It refers to a self threatened with disintegration and by a sense of inner emptiness. Powered By Movable Type 4. In a sweeping but closely argued passage he makes the central link in his complex argument: Oct 10, Dennis rated it liked it.

Christopher Lasch, “The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times”

What these radicals ignore, Lasch charges, is that Christianity, competitive individualism, and the patriarchal family are already obsolescent, at least in those social strata where modernization is most advanced. Humanism and Antihumanism in Lasch and Sandel. Outwardly bland, submissive, and sociable, they seethe with an inner anger for which a dense, overpopulated, christohper society can devise few legitimate outlets.

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History of Western Philosophy. But this passion is not directed to anything in particular, not even the improvement of their own economic or political status much less that of the nation. The self must again find a way to cultivate creation instead of dominate it oasch symbiotically become a part of it.

This undermines parental confidence and replaces face-to-face authority over the child with the impersonal, thw authority of schools, courts, social welfare agencies, and psychiatrists. A desire to survive at all costs ceases to be wholly contemptible under conditions that call into question the future of humanity as a whole.

Ocean rated it really liked it Jan 08, It was era in which I went through high school and university. Sign in Create an account.

Want to Read saving…. In other words, it can become a self, distinct from others and comfortable with the distinction. It is inevitable that one encounters Trump in this description of the emerging personality of America. A vigorous, tightly unified work, characteristically aware christopehr human needs and the strains in American society that subvert them.

People nowadays complain of an inability to feel.


It reacts with rage against the source of its frustration its parentsbut since the source of its frustration is also the source of its gratification and the sole guarantee of its continued existence, the infant cannot tolerate its own impulses of rage and aggression, which would, if realized, annihilate it along with its parents.

Thomas Bender – – Modern Intellectual History 9 3: This article has no associated abstract. Tom Hoffman – – Critical Review 13 For Lasch, then, modernization is not the solution but a new form of the problem — the problem, that is, of domination.

In promoting mass consumption, advertisers like social-science professionals have convinced parents oasch their children are entitled to the best of everything but that, without expert assistance, parents are helpless to determine what that might be. He was, in my still to be formed mind, a synthesizer of all the social thought that mattered.

Lasch argues that the evolution of capitalism has affected family structure and the socialization of children in a laschh of ways. Jennifer rated it liked it Jun 21, Perhaps the same sense of Alarmism, Urgency, and Crisis that had gripped the Mids either has never died or has re-emerged its oasch producing very similar results which we are seeing again today.

Sign in to use this feature. Please provide an email address. Lasch sought to use chrisgopher as a tool to awaken American society to the pervasiveness with which major institutions, thd and private, were eroding the competence and independence of families and communities.


It undermines their confidence in their capacity to understand and shape the world and to provide for their own needs. Lasch, a What can one make of this book? But his critique was tentative, needing to be completed by a theory of the relations among politics, culture, and psychology.