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MODERNITY – radically alters the nature of day-to-day social life

Institutional level: reflexivity

- distinctive feature: high connection between

extensionality = globalizing influences

intentionality = personal dispositions

- The profound processes of reorganization of time&space + expansion of

disembedding mechanisms act to transform content and nature of day to
day social life

- Post traditional order DOUBT = feature of modern, critical reason –


- Circumstances of uncertainty; RISK and TRUST = protection and medium of

interaction with abstract systems

RISK CULTURE in the lay actors and technical specialists organize the social

 reduces certain risks YET INTRODUCES NEW RISK parameters

 “high consequence risks” (risk of massive destruction, ecological

catastrophes, collapse of global economic mechanisms, rise of
totalitarian superstate

- lifestyle & the negotiation of lifestyle -> diversity = also DECISIONS &

Produces difference, exclusion , marginalization

Personal meaninglessness – fundamental psychic problem in terms of moral

questions with no answers

Existential isolation from others


Second chances: mourning – from the loss of shared pleasures and experiences
+ abandoning hope in the (marriage) relationships

Affects the “children of divorce” -> reconciliation fantasy (for the parents to get
back together again)
Danger and opportunity – much to be gained but new dangers to be faced (ex.
anxiety in stepfamilies – BUT which could also help adaptive responses and
novel initiations

Pain & worry VS. COURAGE to grasp the new opportunities

General considerations

MODERNITY ~ roughly 1) “industrialized world” – institutions and modes of

behavior; social relationships

2) capitalism – system of COMMODITY production involving

product market and labor commodities

Surveillance: visible (Foucault) VS. use of information to coordinate social actions

NATION-STATE = specific forms of territoriality and surveillance + effective

control regarding means of violence

Modern institutions discontinuous with pre-modern ways of life -> extreme


3 explaining elements:

 1) Separation of time & space

DEF. = the condition for the articulation of social relations across wide spans of
time-space, up to and including global systems

Prime expression: mechanical CLOCK VS. “emptying” + global timezones

no place reference BUT “when” connected “where” SYSTEM; standard past and
universal future

 2) Disembedding of social institutions (mechanisms)

DEF. = abstract systems that separate interaction from particularities of locales

 Symbolic tokens: MONEY as media for interexchange(transactions can take

place in 2 very different places of the world, without the parties having to see
each other or be present + standard value

- We can BUY relative security

 Expert systems: [technical] information only for the specially trained (e.g.
everyone uses the phone but only a few know how it works, how it’s built etc)
- These involve trust = generally an attitude (connected to psychological
SECURITY) but we CAN cognitively decide to trust as well, which presumes a
leap of commitment

 3) Intrinsic REFLEXIVITY

DEF. = the regularized use of knowledge about circumstances of social life as a

constitutive element in its organization and transformation

- Science depends on the methodological principle of doubt – open to revision

and to the possibility to eventually become discarded

The local, the global and the transformation of day-to-day life

GLOBALISATION= <DEF> the intersection of presence and absence, social events

“at distance” – local contextualities

- nobody can “opt out” -> e.g. global risks: nuclear war, ecological catastrophe

Taken for granted confidence (e.g. in suppliers of natural food – they would supply
what they said)

+ skepticism (e.g. regarding alternative medicine)

- antagonism; transfer of faith

Mediation: socialization; LANGUAGE permits reenactment of social practices

across generations + differences between past-present-future “time machine” (L.

Printed text (electronic signal) at the core of Modernity


• Only events close at hand and recent

• News in form of “geographic bundling”

- as modalities of reorganizing time & space; SIMILARITIES: collage effect +

intrusion of distant events

- humankind becomes “we” – facing problems -> no others

High modernity and existential parameters

- double edged: science and technology – benefits and dangers

- to accept. Society of RISK = no aspect predestined, all open to contingent

= living with a CALCULATIVE ATTITUDE to the open possibilities of

positive/negative action

“futures” are organized in the present reflexively vs. passive expectation


(Pg. 80) 3.2. Lifestyles and life plans

CHOICE is relatively set but little help to choose ; channel-ordering (tradition, habit)

(“adopted”) LIFESTYLE = more or less integrated set of ROUTINISED (dress,

eating, etc.) practices we embrace because they give material form to a particular
narrative of self-id

- involves a cluster of habits and orientations -> certain unity

Plurality of choice-factors

Living in post-traditional order

Pluralisation of lifeworlds VS. segmentation (specific

milieux of action

Beliefs: REASON – doubt

Mediated experience

Lifestyle choices from institutional settings which help shape their actions

Relations with others – TRANSFORMATION OF INTIMACY

(next subchapter
SELF-IDENTITY – emergence of new mechanisms that
are separated by & shaped by institutions

= reflexively organized endavour, life PLANNING

- Self is NOT a PASSIVE entity -> contribute to social influences – GLOBAL in

consequences and implications

- Mediated experience influences self ID + organization of social relations

* SELF DEVELOPMENT with the dev. Of mass (electronic) communication

Inequalities (gender, ethnic) = differentiated access to forms of self actualization,

empowerment + suppression

Transformation of intimacy =emergence of PURE RELATIONSHIPS

(~relationships which exist solely for the rewards they can deliver, external
criteria dissolved)

 This presupposes COMMITMENT = particular species of trust, both to the

relationship AND the person

Integral (integrity) DEMANDS for intimacy in


Reskilling = reacquisition of knowledge and skills

Attitudes: acceptance, skepticism, rejection and withdrawal coexist in the social

sphere + reverence and reserve, approval and disquiet, empathy and antipathy

Bodily development and lifestyle = body – phenomenon of choices and options

SEQUESTRATION (of experience) – day 2 day social life tends to be separated

from “original” nature

Mad, criminal, seriously ill

“Sexuality “ replacing “eroticism” -> behind the scenes, HIDDEN AWAY

Repression of (Freud) guilt VS. SHAME (institutional repression)

- “second chances” – “new sense of identity” ~ finding oneself

- self-ID forms a trajectory across different institutional settings over “life cycle”
[‘HOW shall I live?’s DAY to day decisions

WHY modernity and personal identity?

- Altered self clearly VS. reflexively explored and constructed “new sense of

- Abstract systems -> early socialization advice and instruction of EXPERTS VS.
direct initiation

- Therapy ~ unnegative fashion: impersonal organizations VS. small

communities and tradition (lacking psychological support and security)

= SECULAR version of confession

Chapter 2 The SELF: Ontological security &

existential anxiety
~ ontological security is to have answers

- Overall picture of the psychological make-up: stratification model

Being human = everyone knows WHAT one is doing and WHY = discursive
interpretation (ableness

Ontological security & trust (page 37) practical consciousness is “non-conscious”

VS. unconscious -> reflexive monitoring of our actions

= cognitive-emotive anchor of “ontological security” characteristic for large

segments of human action

- even the most simple query demands the BRACKETING of an infinite number of
possibilities open

- to live our lives we take FOR GRANTED many things including existential issues
(philosophers/individual CRISIS)

“FAITH” in the coherence of everyday life (e.g. with the baby hoping the
parent will return when gone for a while)

Basic trust = the core of “hope” and origin of “the courage to be”

Habit & routine (against anxiety*)

* anxiety = general, no object; an unconsciously organized state of fear – can

generate hostilities because of the feeling of pain or helplessness

not automatic! Is constitutive of emotional acceptance of the reality of the

external world; “NOT-ME separation” for babies; Constant vigilance “to go on” ;
awareness of separate IDs
“going on being” has to be “called into existence” by the nurturing environment ->
routine=formed framework

Child trust – “emotional inoculation”

Generates invulnerability which blocks off anxiety – in favor of attitude “hope”

A terrible accident however pulls apart the protective cocoon VS. feeling of relative

CREATIVITY – innovation ~ as routine phenomenon = sense of worth

- to know the MEANING means able to use the information

Civic indifference = everyone is worthy of respect – e.g. glance on the street ~ the
other is not a threat

BODY -> part of an action system

EXISTENTIAL QUESTIONS concern basic parameters of human life

Existence and being = nature of existence, identity of objects and events

Finitude and human life = existential contradiction; humans (are of) BUT set
apart from nature as sentient reflexive creatures

Experience of others = HOW we interpret the traits and actions of others -> trust
and faith in them equally implicated

CONTINUITY of self ID = persistence of feelings of personhood in a continuous

self and body

- “conscious of” in the term self consciousness: NOT something given but HAS

“me” = the SOCIAL identity the “I” becomes conscious of

SELF ID = the self as reflexively understood by the person in terms of their


~ personhood (capacity to use “I”)

VS. fractured, disabled self ID typical of insecure individuals who

o lack feeling of biographical continuity! discontinuity in

temporal experience
o (are) obsessively preoccupied with risks; “inner deadness” &
no self regard

Body & self – ease in any given situation presumes long-term experience;
everything (even the most banal current routines) was an EFFORT

(Foucault) “disciplinary mechanisms produce docile bodies

“false self” – body as object, manipulated from behind; DISEMBODIMENT (real. Or


Regimes =<DEF> modes of providing food and other basic organic

necessities – not on demand but periodically => e.g. food regimes, sexual,
dress = external form to narratives of self ID

= modes of self-discipline working on the principles of deprivation-indulgence;

personal habits organized after social conventions or dispositions –rel. values +
psychological disorders

Way to Dress – convention to basic aspects of the self id -> conceal/reveal

GENDER is “done”

• Work vs. extension of biological sexual difference

• Chronic monitoring of the body and bodily gestures

THERE IS NO single body trait that separates ALL men from ALL women

Motivations: motives are the wellsprings of action

- Reasons are intrinsic parts of the reflexive monitoring of action

- All competent agents “keep in touch” reproducing that behavior

- Many routines are just simply carried on -> not motivated

In terms of basic security system ~ linked to early TRUST relations


Guilt = anxiety produced by fear of transgression

Shame is related to bodily exposure

Characteristics of guilt
• Derives from feelings of wrong-doing

• Involve cumulative processes

• Exposure of transgressions

• Concern about the violation of codes -> body

• TRUST: absence of -> betrayal/disloyalty

• Surmounting of guilt -> moral uprightness

Characteristics of shame

o Integrity of the self

o Hidden traits that compromise narrative of self Id

o Body in relation to mechanisms of self Id

o Feeling that one is inadequate

o TRUST means being “known to the other”

o Transcending the shame -> secure self ID

Chapter 3. Trajectory of self

Self-therapy: self realization; What to do? How to act? Who to be?

“not done, happen” – experience: systematic reflection about the course of life’s

Self OBSERVATION – “new moment” of life higher awareness condition of

PLANNING ahead => inner wishes

- Journal (for self ~ autobiography to LEARN from previous experiences)

Dialogue with time.. death (fear or avoidance) -> corrective intervention in

the past

1) REFLEXIVE – we make ourselves

2) trajectory of development from past -> future

3) continuous consciously asked questions (e.g. How can I change?)

4) narrative

5) self reflexivity

6)self actualization (opportunity and risk)

(page 78) novel hazards as necessary breaking from patterns – recover or repeat

- running consciously entertained risks to grasp the new opportunities which

personal crisis opens up

3.3. PURE RELATIONSHIPS (theory and practice)

 ROMANTIC LOVE – emotional satisfaction / solely the rewards; reciprocity in


 Pure = only for what it can bring; both sides wanting REAL love (intrinsic
travails of pure relation

 Reflexively ORGANIZED “everything ok?” – how am I -> rewards – pain

 COMMITMENT recognizing the tensions STILL WILLING to take a chance

Vs. inertial drag BUY TIME – provide emotional support guaranteed to persist
while perturbation

Sentiments of love do not in and of themselves generate commitment – nor

do they authorize it

 Intimacy – privacy makes possible the psychic satisfaction intimacy offers

Vs. “get by” relationships

 Mutual TRUST – worked at! = won eventually (both trusted+trust-worthy)

 Shared histories

3.4. The body = object, source of feelings of well-being and pleasure / illness and

not just “possess” – action system, mode of praxis – coherent sense of self ID

- “dress” vs. “uniform” ; demeanour -> multiple selves with no inner care of self id
3.5. Anorexia nervosa – association between dieting and changing bodily
appearance values

- distinctive self-id -> cultivation of bodily regimes ~ reflexively influence self


Casualty and responsibility = A striving for security

 Pathology of reflexive self control -> shame anxiety

 As controlled and progressive phenomenon

Deliberate ascetism – ruthless inner dedication

“alienness” of the body – self can’t feel at home