Complicated Lives: The Malaise of Modernity by Michael Willmott

By Michael Willmott

Advanced Lives examines the best conundrum of the trendy international: why, regardless of being richer, fitter and extra empowered than ever sooner than, will we proceed to think threatened, stressed and under pressure? there isn't any denying that we have by no means had it so reliable, but the stark fact is that degrees of happiness are unchanged because the Fifties. delivering techniques and insights for heading off 'the malaise of modernity' when exploiting optimistic reports the twenty first century has to provide, Michael Willmott and William Nelson take readers on a trip of self-discovery into the realities of existence in ultra-modern advanced, multi-channel global.

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Nowhere is this more obvious than in attitudes towards parenting, where the combined pressures of society and individual desire have arguably made the task more demanding than ever. Today’s parents are taking childcare more seriously, having more ‘quality’ time with their kids, engaging with them, while at the same time worrying 15 16 C O M P L I C AT E D L I V E S ............................................................................................................... more. This trend has gone so far that some commentators feel that parents are verging on the paranoid and being over-protective of the children to the detriment of their long-term development and independence11 .

But the big challenge is for companies and public services, THE NEW INDIVIDUALISM ............................................................................................................... who have an immense potential to provide the substantial help that is required. Understanding work–life balance and embracing flexible working throughout a career are obvious starting points. Another is simply making processes and systems easier. Recognise that people will want personalised solutions and look at how products and services can be customised to individual needs (mass customisation).

This denial is one explanation for the move to a more ‘inconspicuous’ mode of consumption. But there is a ‘game’ being played out here, too – there are moves and counter-moves in the history of status and self-expression. To clarify, let us sketch a somewhat simplified ‘potted history’ of inconspicuous consumption. Between the 1950s and 1980s a massive 29 30 C O M P L I C AT E D L I V E S ...............................................................................................................

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