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    Consumerism and choice

    Salecl, Renata (2019) Consumerism and choice. In: Stavrakakis, Y. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138696310. (In Press)

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    The ideology of postindustrial capitalisms heavily relies on the idea of choice and perceives the subject as a consumer who can rationally decide the path of his or her life. The underside of this ideology has been an increase in people’s feelings of anxiety, inadequacy and guilt for not making it in today’s world. People’s identification with the ideology of choice and constant self-critique are preventing them from perceiving choice outside the spectrum of individualism and as something that might incite social changes. The chapter takes the example of the choice of dress and analyzes new types of anxieties that are on the rise with the idea that one can dress oneself for success. Psychoanalysis can be of great help to political theory in understanding the idea of choice, since it shows how people’s choices are influenced by their unconscious desires and drives, as well as by what other people are choosing and by the larger social setting, the so-called big Other. Making a critique of the ideology of choice does not mean embracing the idea that people do not make choices, but rather that choices are far less rational than they appear.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Depositing User: Renata Salecl
    Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 13:21
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:48


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