Complicated Lives. The Malaise of Modernity

  • ID: 2242187
  • Book
  • 246 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"Comprehensive, cogent, thought provoking; at once both practical and visionary. This important book has its finger on the pulse. Don′t overlook it." – Alan Mitchell, author of Right Side Up, and co–author of The New Bottom Line

"For anyone interested in today′s society this is a must read. A brilliant book which brings empirical understanding to our complex lifestyles." – Alan McWalter, now has a portfolio of business interests having previously been Group Marketing Director at Marks & Spencer, and a Director of Woolworths and Comet

Rising affluence and greater freedom have brought us more choices, more opportunities, and richer lifestyles than ever before. However, progress is a double–edged sword: our expectations are now greater than ever, there is never enough time, and the great majority of us suffer from choice overload. Life feels too hectic, too pressured – too complicated.

Would we really want to turn back the clock to simpler times? Absolutely not – today we are richer, healthier, and have more freedom than any previous generation. But to reap the benefits of progress, we urgently need to find ways to cope with the complexities we face.

In complicated Lives, Michael Willmott and William Nelson presents an in–depth analysis of the challenges and pressure that we are exposed to in our everyday lives. Offering strategies and insights for avoiding the malaise of modernity while exploring the opportunities the 21st century has to offer, this book takes you on  fascinating journey of self–discovery into the realities of life in today′s complex, multi–channel world.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.

INTRODUCTION.

Life could be easier.

1 IT S A COMPLICATED LIFE.

Why is life becoming more complex?

Technology and complexity.

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 individualists.

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?

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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Michael Willmott
William Nelson
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