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Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives

Daniel Nehring Orcid Logo, Anja Röcke Orcid Logo

Current Sociology, Start page: 001139212211465

Swansea University Author: Daniel Nehring Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Self-optimisation has arguably become a central socio-cultural trend in contemporary Western societies. The imperative to optimise our ways of thinking, feeling and interacting with others features prominently in public discourse, and a range of commercial products and services are available to assi...

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Published in: Current Sociology
ISSN: 0011-3921 1461-7064
Published: SAGE Publications 2023
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa61936
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first_indexed 2022-11-23T17:19:47Z
last_indexed 2023-01-13T19:23:03Z
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spelling 2023-01-13T12:48:39.2058624 v2 61936 2022-11-16 Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives ae8d2c719dc7935fbf07d354a2b30dee 0000-0002-5346-6301 Daniel Nehring Daniel Nehring true false 2022-11-16 CSSP Self-optimisation has arguably become a central socio-cultural trend in contemporary Western societies. The imperative to optimise our ways of thinking, feeling and interacting with others features prominently in public discourse, and a range of commercial products and services are available to assist us in our quest to become the best version of our selves. However, self-optimisation has so far received scant attention in sociological research. Addressing this knowledge gap, we aim to introduce self-optimisation as a concept for sociological analysis. We first situate self-optimisation in several closely linked strands of academic debate, on transformations of self-identity under conditions of globalisation and neo-liberal capitalism, and on the spread of a therapeutic culture. We then map the socio-cultural antecedents of self-optimisation, survey its rise as a salient public discourse and as a form of everyday practice and consider some political implications. In the conclusion, we set out an agenda for further research on self-optimisation and discuss its conceptual and empirical relevance beyond the Global Northwest. Journal Article Current Sociology 0 001139212211465 SAGE Publications 0011-3921 1461-7064 Self-identity, self-optimisation, sociology of psychologies, technologies of the self,therapeutic culture 12 1 2023 2023-01-12 10.1177/00113921221146575 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00113921221146575 COLLEGE NANME Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy COLLEGE CODE CSSP Swansea University Other 2023-01-13T12:48:39.2058624 2022-11-16T11:03:54.3479626 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences School of Social Sciences - Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy Daniel Nehring 0000-0002-5346-6301 1 Anja Röcke 0000-0002-7919-2943 2 61936__26282__f1e5b86bb13d456ebaed57fca2de1c7f.pdf 61936.VOR.pdf 2023-01-13T12:44:52.2360476 Output 106016 application/pdf Version of Record true Distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC-BY-NC) Licence. true eng https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
title Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives
spellingShingle Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives
Daniel Nehring
title_short Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives
title_full Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives
title_fullStr Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives
title_full_unstemmed Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives
title_sort Self-optimisation: Conceptual, discursive and historical perspectives
author_id_str_mv ae8d2c719dc7935fbf07d354a2b30dee
author_id_fullname_str_mv ae8d2c719dc7935fbf07d354a2b30dee_***_Daniel Nehring
author Daniel Nehring
author2 Daniel Nehring
Anja Röcke
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container_start_page 001139212211465
publishDate 2023
institution Swansea University
issn 0011-3921
1461-7064
doi_str_mv 10.1177/00113921221146575
publisher SAGE Publications
college_str Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
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hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
hierarchy_parent_id facultyofhumanitiesandsocialsciences
hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
department_str School of Social Sciences - Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences{{{_:::_}}}School of Social Sciences - Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy
url http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00113921221146575
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description Self-optimisation has arguably become a central socio-cultural trend in contemporary Western societies. The imperative to optimise our ways of thinking, feeling and interacting with others features prominently in public discourse, and a range of commercial products and services are available to assist us in our quest to become the best version of our selves. However, self-optimisation has so far received scant attention in sociological research. Addressing this knowledge gap, we aim to introduce self-optimisation as a concept for sociological analysis. We first situate self-optimisation in several closely linked strands of academic debate, on transformations of self-identity under conditions of globalisation and neo-liberal capitalism, and on the spread of a therapeutic culture. We then map the socio-cultural antecedents of self-optimisation, survey its rise as a salient public discourse and as a form of everyday practice and consider some political implications. In the conclusion, we set out an agenda for further research on self-optimisation and discuss its conceptual and empirical relevance beyond the Global Northwest.
published_date 2023-01-12T04:16:34Z
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