Concepts of the Self, 2nd Edition
December 2007, Polity
Mead, Freud, Goffman, Foucault, Chodorow, Kristeva and Baudrillard are among the figures covered; the new edition also introduces material on Žižek. 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.
- The Arts of Self
- Concepts of the Self
- How the Self is Constructed and Changed
- The Structure of the Book
- 1 Self, Society and Everyday Life
- Self, Symbols and Others: Symbolic Interactionism
- Presentations of Self: Goffman
- Reflexivity and the Self: Giddens
- 2 The Repression of Self
- Psychoanalysis and the Self
- Culture and Repression
- 3 Technologies of the Self
- Technologies of the Self: Foucault
- Governmentalities: New Technologies, New Selves
- 4 Self, Sexuality and Gender
- Feminism and Psychoanalysis: Two Recent Views
- The Politics of Gender Performance: Butler
- Queer Theory: Contesting Self, Defying Gender
- 5 The Postmodern Self
- All that is Modern Melts into Postmodern?
- Strategies of the Self: Modern and Postmodern
- Inner Depth, or Inside Out
- Identity Politics, or Critique of Self
- New edition of a successful key concepts book
- Clearly written introductory text by an internationally renowned author
- Has been fully revised and updated in the light of adopter feedback
- The book is updated throughout, with new material in particular on emergent trends in the area such as Zizek and globalization
- Adopted at levels 1 and 2 on courses on identity, the self and social theory
Charles Lemert, Wesleyan University
“This great little book contains everything you wished but did not dare to ask about the meaning of the ‘self’ – one of the thorniest, most contentious, exciting and enraging issues of our times and our lives in these times. To the questions you might have asked or are likely to ask yet, Elliott offers answers that are carefully weighted, balanced and realistic – drawing from the vast treasury of sociological insights and moving freely between the variety of complementary even if ostensibly adversary perspectives. Elliott’s book is good to read, to learn and to think with. It helps to understand what it means to ‘have a self’ and ‘to be oneself’ – an understanding that itself is a foremost condition of both.”
Zygmunt Bauman, Universities of Leeds and Warsaw