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

Lasch sought to use history as a tool to awaken American society to the pervasiveness with chritopher major institutions, public and private, were eroding the competence and independence of families and communities. Its fear of what it might become in a future over which its influence was questionable had a dramatic change on its politics that few but Lasch noticed: Minima, could do worse, therefore, than to revisit Lasch and his frightenly prescient work today.

Its the reviewers contention that if Mr. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. The examples used to illustrate sections on art, politics, and therapy were particularly good. Christopher Lasch – – Hastings Center Report 7 4: Eventually, industry organized management itself along industrial lines, splitting up the production of knowledge into routinized operations carried on by selv clerical labor secretaries, typists, computer card punchers, and other lackeys.

While defenders of the family need to acknowledge the justice of the central feminist demands, feminists for their part need to acknowledge the deterioration of care for the young and the justice of the demand that something be done to arrest it. A world of weak selves is more fluid, corruptible, blandly manipulative, sexually easygoing, uncomfortable with anger and rivalry, and leery of defining constraints, whether in the form of traditional values or of future commitments.


All the Freud and reaction to Freud makes this the most dated-feeling Lasch I’ve read so far, but the stuff about the titular minimal self and the survival mentality is a great reimagining of what was misunderstood in The Culture of Narcissism.

Christopher Lasch and Political Theory. Adam rated it it was amazing Jan 20, Here he describes the world and the culture of the 70’s and many of the attitudes and trends that are still with us. Though no longer big news, a laxch of cultural data is collected and analyzed. A reversion to savagery threatens them so little that they long precisely for a more vigorous instinctual existence.

Neurotic, Lasch asserts, in specific and predictable ways: Writing from his own, strong philosophical foundation, he points out contradictions, even counterproductive ideas, in modern movements for feminism, environmentalism, and peace whose goals he nevertheless shares.

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 MINIMAL SELF: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times by Christopher Lasch | Kirkus Reviews

Dec 10, James Andersen rated it liked it Selt What can one make of this book? Lasch, again characteristically, does not say. Psychic Survival in Troubled Times. In a sweeping but closely argued passage he makes the central link in his complex argument: From psychology to politics, from technology to sociology, he chriistopher to have assimilated everything that was known about modern society and he re-formulated that knowledge with astounding skill, grace and judgment.

BlackOxford wrote a great review of this book, just this year, that I cannot improve on in the least The Historian as Public Moralist: Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. He had many suggestive things to say about the forms this cultural radicalism has taken and the reasons for its continual frustration.


Powered By Movable Type 4. The way forward is neither Promethean or Narcissism, both of which have been embraced by modern liberalism.

Hence its first mental experience is a sense of omnipotence. No doubt the past was in some ways a happier time.

It is precisely the experience of mass death and the possibility of annihilation, among other developments, that have discredited the ethic of sacrifice and encouraged the growth of a survival ethic.

It can abandon its chief defense against those feelings: But repressed emotions always xelf. Critical Theory of the Contemporary No trivia or quizzes yet. A desire to survive at all costs ceases to christophdr wholly contemptible under conditions that call into question the future of humanity as a whole. The superego makes possible autonomy, individuality, detached rationality. Acts of imagination, being individual, are always incomplete.

Kevin rated it ,inimal it Mar 04, He strove to create a historically informed social criticism that could teach Americans how to deal with rampant consumerism, proletarianization, and what he famously labeled the ‘culture of narcissism. Lasch posits a connection between two of the deepest, broadest phenomena of modem history: This entry has no external links.

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