This great little book contains everything you wished but did not dare to ask about the meaning of the self one of the thorniest, most contentious, exciting and enraging issues of our times and our lives in these times. To the questions you might have asked or are likely to ask yet, Elliott offers answers that are carefully weighted, balanced and realistic drawing from the vast treasury of sociological insights and moving freely between the variety of complementary even if ostensibly adversary perspectives. Elliott′s book is good to read, to learn and to think with. It helps to understand what it means to have a self and to be oneself an understanding that itself is a foremost condition of both. –– Zygmunt Bauman, Universities of Leeds and Warsaw
‘Anthony Elliott has done it again! No one writing today has quite the range and depth of understanding of self–theory. Elliott writes with confidence, clarity, and great care of all the prominent concepts of self. And no one I know can write so reliably of the classic theorists in the same concise book as the newest queer and postmodern ones. No reader, whether student or scholar, will want to be without this brilliant book.’ – Professor Charles Lemert, Wesleyan University (USA)
‘This is an engaging book. In it Anthony Elliott reassures us that the self is not only alive and well but full of imagination creativity too.’ – Professor Janet Sayers, University of Kent, Canterbury
From the Back Cover
Concepts of the Self is a compelling introduction to contemporary controversies over the self and self–identity in the social sciences. Written by an author of international reputation, the book concentrates mainly on the work of social theorists and cultural analysts who have attempted to place the self in relation to psychological processes, social contexts and historical perspectives. Mead, Freud, Goffman, Foucault, Chodorow, Kristeva and Baudrillard are among the figures covered; the new edition also introduces material on iek. Elliott also connects debates about the self directly to identity politics, the sociology of personal relationships and intimacy, and the politics of sexuality.
The book focuses upon cultural and political issues, and breaks new ground in integrating interdisciplinary perspectives. In analysing debates about the self, Elliott draws extensively on contemporary social and cultural theory. Among the traditions of thought discussed are symbolic interactionism, modern sociology, post–structuralist thought, feminist and queer theory, psychoanalysis, and postmodernism.
Concepts of the Self is an accessible and invaluable introductory text for students in the areas of social and political theory, sociology, social psychology, cultural studies and gender studies.
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