It’s All About Me: Individualism

Individualism. The me-culture. I have the right to make the decisions I want to and that best suit my life. After all, no one else is going to if they’re all looking out for themselves too. My career, my home, my relationships: my world is me-shaped.

Individualism started as a good thing: the recognition that everyone had worth and dignity as a human. We have rights and freedoms that previous generations never enjoyed. But that became distorted, until we focused on the self at the expense of the networks of relationships that make life truly meaningful. Instead, we substituted relationships with other people for relationships with Stuff. That’s why individualism goes hand-in-hand with consumerism – choice and change are now how we understand our place in the world. Graham Cray writes, ‘If individualization creates the structure of our society, consumerism provides its dominant ideology and its navigation mechanism or satellite navigation mechanism. Individuals navigate a multichoice world by being consumers’

Of course, when we each put ourselves at the centre of our lives, we end up leaving other people behind. Hoping for some support from his girlfriend, Dave is about to find out that what looks like freedom for one person comes at a cost to others.

 

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Category: Multimedia

August, 2013

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