The hamster wheel of digital late modernity…

Unsustainable in just about every sense you can think of (nb Svensson is describing, not endorsing…)

Sociologists often refer our time as late modern (Giddens, 1991; Bauman, 2001). Dahlgren (2006) characterises late modernity by identifying two interrelated cultural processes at work: dispersion of unifying cultural frameworks and individualisation. The first refers to the increasing pluralisation, fragmentation and nichification of society along lines of media consumption, cultural interests, lifestyles, interests, tastes et cetera (ibid.). Individualisation refers to lacking a sense of social belonging and a growing sense of personal autonomy (ibid.). In other words, the collective and traditional has faded in importance in favor of the never-ending individual identity formation project (Giddens, 1991). When individual identity can increasingly be crafted and managed, the making of oneself becomes more important with self-realisation as an end in itself to strive for (Giddens, 1991; Beck, 1998). However self-realisation is elusive since it can hardly be achieved once and for all. The making and moulding of the self is a continuous process where not least capitalist consumption society will make sure there is always something new to strive for and more things with which to connect your self-identity. This underlines reflexivity as a consistent theme in late modernity (which is sometimes referred to as reflexive modernity, see Giddens, 1991; Beck, 1995).
Journal of eDemocracy and Open Government 3(1): 42-56, 2011
ISSN 2075-9517
The Expressive Turn of Citizenship in Digital Late Modernity
Jakob Svensson


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Below the surface...
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