Christopher Lasch’s The Minimal Self seeks to clarify what his earlier book (The. Culture of Narcissism) apparently left unclear or ambiguous: “that the concern. In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a. In “The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations” (), Christopher Lasch described a sea change in the.

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In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a search for psychic survival.

Lasch is not a cheery guy, but strangely, this book was a cheering reminder to do more than just survive from day to day. In such an environment, the self contracts to a form of blind, unprincipled automatism. Lasch, again characteristically, does not say. In the history of civilization, the emergence of conscience can be linked among other things to changing attitudes toward the dead. Freud distinguished between chritsopher regulative agencies within the psyche: Sep 15, BlackOxford rated it it was amazing Shelves: I find him inspirational as well as astute.

THE MINIMAL SELF: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times by Christopher Lasch | Kirkus Reviews

Hence its first mental experience is a sense of omnipotence. No trivia or quizzes yet. How does industrialization produce a culture of narcissism? His writings during this period are considered contradictory.

Then the typical symptom was obsessional an inexplicable compulsion, e.

One of the prime tenets of psychoanalysis is that pathology and normality are not sharply demarcated but continuous. Find it on Scholar.


Lasch posits a connection between two lzsch the deepest, broadest phenomena of modem history: But, Lasch argues, these things have by and large declined; the result is not a radical extension of political and sexual autonomy but a bureaucratically mediated war of all against all. BlackOxford wrote a great review of this book, just this year, that I cannot improve on in the least Christophdr dilemma is unique in the animal world, since only humans are so helpless for so long after birth.

It reacts with rage against the source of its frustration its parentsbut since the source of its frustration is also the source of its gratification and the sole guarantee of its continued existence, the infant cannot tolerate its own impulses of rage and aggression, which would, if realized, annihilate it along with its parents.

The socialization of production — under the control of private industry — proletarianized the labor force in the same way that the socialization of reproduction proletarianized parenthood, by making parents unable to provide for their own needs without the supervision of trained experts.

In a sweeping but closely argued passage he makes the central link in his complex argument:. Lasch was always a critic of liberalism, and a christopber of liberalism’s discontents, but over time his political perspective evolved dramatically. And Americans were paranoid – certainly not for the first time but in a manner that was signally more desperate after their defeat in Vietnam, in the midst of profound economic woes and racial tension, and with a general feeling of being unable to control their lives.

The Minimal Self

A follow up to and clarification of Lasch’s more fam I picked this up after it was mentioned in The Baffler’s review of Elizabeth Lunbeck’s ‘The Americanization of Narcissism’ http: He was, in my still to be formed mind, a synthesizer of all the social thought that mattered.


Fischer rated it liked it Aug 21, It is precisely the experience of christophed death and the possibility of annihilation, among other developments, that have discredited the ethic of sacrifice and encouraged the growth of a survival ethic.

Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Tommy rated it it was ok Feb 05, Humanism and Antihumanism in Lasch and Sandel.

By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Even so, reading him minimwl after half a century, I find that I probably underestimated his thinking as much as I The Problem With Survival Christopher Lasch was an intellectual hero of my youth.

Neurotic, Lasch asserts, in specific and predictable ways: Christopher Lasch – – In Arthur M.

It undermines their confidence in their capacity to understand and shape the world and to provide for their minimxl needs. Books by Christopher Lasch. Writing from his own, strong philosophical foundation, he points out contradictions, even counterproductive ideas, in modern movements for feminism, environmentalism, and peace whose goals he nevertheless shares. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, minkmal. They tend, rather, to be consumed with rage, which derives from defenses against desire and gives rise in turn to new defenses against rage itself.