In this incisive and controversial book, Richard Stivers rejects genetic explanations of psychological problems, arguing instead that the very organization of technological societies is behind the pervasive experience of loneliness. In its extreme form, loneliness assumes pathological dimensions in neurosis and schizophrenia, which reflect the contradiction between power and meaninglessness that characterizes modern life. Loneliness, in its many manifestations, seems to be the price we must pay for living in a technological world. Yet nurturing family, friend, and community ties can mitigate its culturally and psychologically disorganizing power. This book is a clarion call for a renewal of moral awareness and custom to combat the fragmentation and depersonalization of our technological civilization.
Richard Stivers is professor of sociology at Illinois State University.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Technology, Character, and Personality Chapter 3 Technology and Stress Chapter 4 Cultural and Psychological Conflict Chapter 5 Culture and the Neurotic Need for Affection and for Power Chapter 6 Compulsive and Impulsive Styles Chapter 7 Narcissism and Depression Chapter 8 Paranoia and Schizophrenia Chapter 9 Shades of Loneliness