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This new and updated edition of Concepts of the Self remains the most lively,
lucid and 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 Zizek. 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.
Elliott reviews core concepts of the self through an analysis of several
connected themes: the complex relation between self and society; the importance
of the interpreting self in social life; the reshaping of processes of
self-formation; and, the changing character of identity politics. The new
edition continues to break new ground by introducing compelling, contemporary
material on the globalization of the self.
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.