Individualization argues that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in the nature of society and politics. This change hinges around two processes: globalization and individualization. The book demonstrates that individualization is a structural characteristic of highly differentiated societies, and does not imperil social cohesion, but actually makes it possible.
Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim argue that it is vital to distinguish between the neo-liberal idea of the free-market individual and the concept of individualization. The result is the most complete discussion of individualization currently available, showing how individualization relates to basic social rights and also paid employment; and concluding that in as much as basic rights are internalized and everyone wants to or must be economically active, the spiral of individualization destroys the given foundations of social co-existence.
Ulrich Beck is Professor of Sociology at the University of Munich. He is the author of Counterpoison (1991) and Ecological Enlightenment (1992).
Losing the Traditional Individualization and 'Precarious Freedoms' A Life of One's Own in a Runaway World Individualization, Globalization and Politics Beyond Status and Class? The Ambivalent Social Structure Poverty and Wealth in a 'Self-Driven Culture' From `Living for Others' to 'A Life of One's Own' Individualization and Women On the Way to the Post-Familial Family From a Community of Need to Elective Affinities Division of Labour, Self-Imaging and Life Projects New Conflicts in the Family Declining Birthrates and the Wish to Have Children Apparatuses Do Not Care for People Health and Responsibility in the Age of Genetic Technology Death of One's Own, Life of One's Own Hopes from Transience Freedom's Children Freedom's Fathers Zombie Categories Interview with Ulrich Beck