9780470012635

Complicated Lives : The Malaise of Modernity

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780470012635

  • ISBN10:

    0470012633

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-09-23
  • Publisher: WILEY
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Summary

Complicated Lives examines the greatest conundrum of the modern world: why, despite being richer, healthier and more empowered than ever before, do we continue to feel threatened, under pressure and stressed? There's no denying that we've never had it so good, yet the stark truth is that levels of happiness are unchanged since the 1950s. Offering strategies and insights for avoiding 'the malaise of modernity' whilst exploiting positive experiences the 21st century has to offer, Michael Willmott and William Nelson take readers on a journey of self-discovery into the realities of life in today's complex, multi-channel world.

Table of Contents

ACNOWLEDGEMENTS.
INTRODUCTION.
Life could be easier.
1 IT’S A COMPLICATED LIFE.
Why is life becoming more complex?
The manifestation of increasing complexity.
Complicated times – understanding time and priorities.
Navigating a complex world.
2 THE NEW INDIVIDUALISM.
The affluent society.
A more demanding and marketing-literate consumer.
Seeking fulfilment and experiences – the lure of cultural capital.
Self-expression and ‘inconspicuous’ consumption.
Wanting it all.
Age and individualism.
Managing in a world of individuals.
3 THE ROUTELESS SOCIETY.
The changing influence of institutions.
The personalisation of authority (and the re-emergence of community?).
Collaborative individuals.
The growing importance of social capital.
Life without a map.
4 HUMAN CAPITAL AND THE NETWORK SOCIETY
Work and intellectual capital.
Cultural capital.
The three capitals.
5 NEW LIFE COURSES, NEW CHALLENGES.
From simple to complex life paths.
From simple to complex (but enduring) families.
The vertical family.
The time of their lives.
Anticipating transitions.
6 TECHNOLOGY AND COMPLEXITY.
Love and hate.
The pace and breadth of change.
Techno-determinism, complication and feature overload.
More, and more complex, communications in the network society.
The blurring of the boundaries between work, home and play.
Looking ahead.
7 THE CHOICE EXPLOSION.
Drowning in choice?
The choice explosion
How is today’s consumer handling choice?
8 REGENDERING LIFE.
Educational performance and earnings power.
Women on top?
Housework and shopping.
Gender and finance.
Who pays?
Openness about finances: who controls the truth?
Avoiding polemics.
9 THE PARENTING CHALLENGE.
Professional parenting verges on the paranoid.
Professional parenting.
Paranoid parenting.
The negotiated family.
Forever parents.
Coping with complicated parenting.
10 THE ANXIETY SOCIETY.
The fear paradox.
Myths of social and environmental decline.
Why is this happening?
Worrying ourselves to death?
11 COMPLICATED TIMES.
The value of time.
Overworked or not? Trends in paid work.
Unpaid work – the chores of life.
A life of leisure?
Assessing the value of time.
In search of happiness.
Don’t discount time.
12 NAVIGATING A COMPLEX WORLD.
The happiness problem.
Don’t believe the worst.
Accept that we can’t control everything.
Plan and prioritise.
Try to assess the true value of your time.
Don’t spend too much time choosing.
Trust others.
Use and choose technology selectively.
Training, skills and networking tools.
Final thoughts.
NOTES.
INDEX.

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