Complicated Lives: The Malaise of Modernity by Michael Willmott

By Michael Willmott

Advanced Lives examines the best conundrum of the fashionable global: why, regardless of being richer, more healthy and extra empowered than ever ahead of, will we proceed to believe threatened, stressed and under pressure? there is not any denying that we have now by no means had it so strong, but the stark fact is that degrees of happiness are unchanged because the Fifties. delivering options and insights for averting 'the malaise of modernity' when exploiting optimistic reports the twenty first century has to supply, Michael Willmott and William Nelson take readers on a trip of self-discovery into the realities of existence in modern advanced, multi-channel international.

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Rifkin argues we are moving from an era of industrial to cultural capitalism, where ‘cultural production is increasingly becoming the dominant form of economic activity’ and ‘securing access to the many cultural resources and experiences that nurture one’s psychological existence becomes just as important as holding 7 8 C O M P L I C AT E D L I V E S ............................................................................................................... property’. ), you can differentiate yourself, gain kudos and access to opportunities by having cultural knowledge or experience (‘been to the match’, ‘seen the play’); by having cultural capital.

This paradox provides the clue to the way forward. For individuals, the key is prioritisation and balance. People will have to accept that while they can indeed have it all, they can only do so by reining back on expectations. Patently, not everything can be done to the maximum, all at the same time. One simple way to do this is to take more of a life-course approach to planning – something people have always done (I will go round the world in 5 years’ time) – but this may have to be done in a more consciously planned way in the future.

Many of us now learn antimarketing counter-narratives, not least from parents keen to moderate the expensive effects of child-focused advertising. Even where this does not happen, a critical attitude to marketing is now almost a logical necessity. The sheer volume and semiotic richness of modern marketing creates a distance from it – there is no way a modern consumer can understand one marketing message as just that (and so reject or ignore the offer), and then absorb another with complete naivety.

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