TheNew Individualism The Emotional Cost of Globalization.
AnthonyElliott and Charles Lemert
TheNew Individualism: The Emotional Cost of Globalization is a currentbook, initially published in the year 2005. This book is focused onthe effects of globalization which has reached its peak in the recenttimes. According to Elliot and Lemert, the authors of the book,globalization is set to further increase, in which it is damaging andnegative to individual’s lives. In the book, the best sign ofglobalization include “the speed of travel, the ease ofcommunication, the multicultural politics of the world, the newtransnational economic markets” (Elliott & Lemert, 2006). Thebook addresses the impact of globalization, though not exclusively,mainly in Britain and United States. It attempts to analyze thepsychological and sociological impacts of globalization.
Theauthors possess an invaluable experience in the fields’ psychologyand sociology, thus they have exclusively depict the effects ofsocial movement to individuals’ psychological experiences. Eliotand Lemert have utilized anecdotal approach to present various casestudies based on reality, but it is modified to confine the subjectanonymity and also to increase the impact of the stories (Elliott &Lemert, 2006).Under the influence of globalization, individuals tocertain degree are damaged by several social changes. It is apparenttherefore, that this study is marked by methodological individualism,as it attempts to reconcile the individual reportage and socialtheoretic analysis which in effect show the difference between theconcrete and the abstract. On the part of sociological analysis,there are three crucial socio-structural variations given by theauthors that have largely influenced the lives of individuals andtheir personalities. These are: commodification the new culturepolitics of the political Right and privatization (Elliott &Lemert, 2006).
Accordingto the authors, commodification entails the multinationals andmonopolies on one part and the enhancement of individualistconsumerist values on the other part (Elliott & Lemert,2006).They depict the entry of market logic to social relationmatters which ultimately is disastrous. Consumerism is a stumblingblock to individual capacity to understand their personal desires andneeds, and of utmost importance is the damage to our ability todevelop meaningful emotional connections with each other (Elliott &Lemert, 2006).The authors further, analyze the ramification forindividualism and for individuals regarding the reactionaryintellectual milieu and political extension to new conservatism.
Inlight of their view, the western societies’ politics of the radicalRight which was developed by Margaret Thatcher in Britain and RonaldReagan in the United States has greatly damaged social cohesivenessand human communities to intolerable limits (Elliott & Lemert,2006).The last socio-cultural characteristic discussed by the authorsis privatization this factor entails a worldwide modification of thebarriers in the spaces between the private and the public.“Theintimate connection, forged over many years in the collective psyche,between the domain of government and the public good is todayrendered a fantasy of a bygone era, as the world is remade accordingto capital mobility and the selling off of governmental assets to theprivate sector”(Elliott& Lemert, 2006).
Theintense deregulation and privatization has significantly promotedsocial exclusion to access to basic requirements such as educationand Medicare to many individuals. As a summary of their work, Eliotand Lemert, highlighted scaring rate of violence occurrence all overthe globalized world. Consequently, as a remedy to this problem theyadvocate psychology as the possible answer. This principle isenvisaged in the New Individualism, which in their argument shows itis the aggressive and hard work that goes into comprehending,surviving and recognizing the social world plaque by globalization(Elliott & Lemert, 2006).
Butthe downside part of the policy is the fact the authors have givenlittle if any provision on how an aggressive living should bepracticed. It is given in an altogether vague manner which is at thebrink of retrogressing to the practice of individualist dummy-spits(Elliott & Lemert, 2006). This book borrows a lot from otherworks handling similar subject. For instance, in their presentation,the two authors give a comparative analysis of two popularsociologists C. Wright Mills and Phyllis Meadow. In addition thebook provides significant contribution to the study of sociology. Theauthors have provided insight of the massive penetration of oursocial practices by neo-liberal economic doctrines which haveextended the market values into the personal life which has led tothe creation of the isolated and calculated forms of life (Elliott &Lemert, 2006).
Thestudy of this book opens up several possible areas of research suchas the impacts of psychology on the societies and individuals,cultural and economic variation as a result of globalization.Particularly, evaluating the heightened degree of anxiety linked withthe regular dangers generated through global competition.
Elliott,A. and Lemert, C. (2006). The New Individualism: the emotional costof globalization. New York: Routledge.