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Narcissism and Identity

  • Claire FoxEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Narcissism is now—according to the New York Times—‘the go-to diagnosis’ for commentators. Why has cultural narcissism become so deeply woven into the fabric of contemporary society? This chapter explores explanations for, and consequences of, this. These include the affluence of late modernity (supposedly leading to shallow materialism and lifestyle consumerism), the permissiveness of the 1960s, overindulgent parenting, a loss of confidence in the future, the demonisation of the past, and the contemporary epidemic of self-harm. Why has an individualistic self-preoccupation with identity become dominant at the very time when individual autonomy and agency are notably weak? Are there any positive aspects in the construction of ‘Brand Me’ and a ‘Narrative of Self’ for a project of reclaiming subjective selfhood? Is narcissism too clichéd a concept to help us understand today’s crisis of identity?

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of IdeasLondonUK

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