Concepts of the Self
Concepts of the Self, 4th Edition
This new, updated edition provides a lively, lucid and compelling introduction to contemporary controversies over the self and self-identity in the social sciences and humanities. In an accessible and concise format, the book ranges from classical intellectual traditions of symbolic interactionism, psychoanalysis and Foucauldian theory, through feminism and postfeminism, to postmodernism and the mobilities paradigm.

With characteristic verve and clarity, Anthony Elliott explores the relationship between power, identity and personhood, connecting varied theoretical debates directly to matters of contemporary relevance and urgency, such as identity politics, the sociology of personal relationships and intimacy, and the politics of sexuality. This edition also includes a new chapter on the digital revolution, which situates the self and work/life transformations within the context of AI, Industry 4.0, advanced robotics and accelerating automation.   
Offering thoughtful entry points to a rich and complex literature, along with robust critical responses to each theory, <i>Concepts of the Self</i> will continue to be an invaluable text for students of social and political theory, sociology, social psychology, cultural studies, and gender studies.
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  • July 2020
  • 248 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509538799
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509538805
  • Open eBook $20.00
  • 9781509538812
Table of Contents
1    Self, Society and Everyday Life 
2    The Repression of Self    
3    Technologies of the Self  
4    Self, Sexuality and Gender
5    The Postmodern Self  
6    The Algorithmic Self
7    The Individualized Self: From Reinvention to Mobile Lives  
About the Author
Anthony Elliott is Executive Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of South Australia, where he is Research Professor of Sociology and Dean of External Engagement. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. His recent books include ReinventionIdentity Troubles and The Culture of AI.
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"What Anthony Elliott accomplished in previous editions of this book was remarkable. Here, a fourth time around, he does it again! Few today have the range and depth of Elliotts understanding of self theory. Fewer still can write so reliably of the classic theorists as well as the more recent queer and postmodern ones. No reader, whether student or scholar, will want to be without this brilliant book."
Charles Lemert, Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis

"This great little book contains everything you wished but did not dare to ask about the meaning of the 'self' ? one of the thorniest, most contentious, exciting and enraging issues of our times and our lives in these times. To the questions you might have asked or are likely to ask yet, Elliott offers answers that are carefully weighted, balanced and realistic ? drawing from the vast treasury of sociological insights and moving freely between the variety of complementary even if ostensibly adversary perspectives. Elliott's book is good to read, to learn and to think with. It helps to understand what it means to 'have a self' and 'to be oneself' ? an understanding that itself is a foremost condition of both."
Zygmunt Bauman

"In clear, concise and elegant prose, Anthony Elliott offers an overview of theories of the self from the late nineteenth century to the present. He treats the subject of selfhood in private and individualistic terms, along with that of the socially engaged self. There is, quite simply, no better book on this subject."
Madelon Sprengnether, University of Minnesota
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