Damaged Life: The Crisis of the Modern Psyche (Critical by Tod Sloan

By Tod Sloan

This article offers an research of modernity's influence at the psyche. Modernization has introduced many fabric advantages, but we're regularly instructed how unsatisfied we're: crime, divorce, suicide, melancholy and nervousness are rampant. How can this contradiction be reconciled? Tod Sloan develops an built-in conception of the self in society by means of combining views on character improvement and sociohistorical tactics to discover our complicated reaction to modernization. He discusses the consequences of postmodern conception for psychology and proposes concrete responses to deal with the difficulty of mass emotional soreness. His e-book is geared toward these operating inside psychology and similar disciplines reminiscent of sociology and social coverage, in addition to somebody looking enlightenment concerning the hindrance of the self in modern society.

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Recent research establishing biochemical and neurological correlates of such unpleasant subjective states does not prove that processes of socialization and structures of modern life are not initially responsible for problematic experience with temperamental traits such as shyness, aggressiveness, insecurity, impulsiveness or distractibility. Even Freudian psychoanalysis, which once promised to expose the 23 24 The psychological impact of modernization ultimate roots of neurosis, often trips over its own ideological underpinnings and finishes by indicting indirectly the morality of the bourgeois family when it points, for example, to the consequences of authoritarian discipline or overgratification.

As a consequence, the social contexts that stimulate the reproduction of neurosis escaped criticism from a discipline ideally positioned to discern the subjective moments of the process (Jacoby 1975). SOCIAL ROOTS OF THE CRISIS I will now examine more systematically the claim that modernization has undesirable psychological consequences. With the support of interdisciplinary evidence, I will argue that many of the symptoms that are often explained away as existential, medical or ‘merely psychological’ can instead be traced to social roots.

Continuing his search for the roots of the modern personality, Inkeles considers the possibilities that cultural factors may induce individuals to be more receptive to modernity (Weber’s hypothesis) or that modern traits are adopted by imitation or cultural diffusion from the West. If either of these processes were primary, several generations would be required in order for sufficient changes to occur in socialization practices to have deep effects on personalities. Given this realization regarding the central role of socialization, Inkeles turns explicitly to neo-behaviourist ‘social learning theory’, the then dominant US perspective on the development of personality traits.

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