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Society of Fear

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From the rise of terrorism to the uncertainties associated with economic crisis and recession, our age is characterized by fear. Fear is the expression of a society on unstable foundations. Most of us feel that our social status is under threat and our future prospects in jeopardy. We are overwhelmed by a sense of having been catapulted into a world to which we no longer belong.

Tracing this experience of fear, Heinz Bude uncovers a society marked by disturbing uncertainty, suppressed anger and quiet resentment. This is as true in our close relationships as it is in the world of work, in how we react to politicians as much as in our attitudes towards bankers and others in the financial sector. Bude shows how this fear is not derived so much from a 'powerful other' but rather from the seemingly endless range of possibilities which we face. While this may seem to offer us greater autonomy and freedom, in reality the unknown impact and meaning of each option creates a vacuum which is filled by fear.

What conditions lead people to feel anxious and fearful for themselves and others? How can individuals withstand fear and develop ways of making their fears intelligible? Probing these and other questions, Bude provides a fresh analysis of some of the most fundamental features of our societies today.

Author: Bude Heinz
Publisher: POLITY PRESS
Pages: 147
ISBN: 9781509519507
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2017

Preface

Thanks

Fear as a principle

Longing for a non-terminable relationship

Unease with one’s own type

When the winners take it all

The status panic of the middle class

Everyday battles on the lower rungs

The fragile self

Rule by nobody

The power of emotion

The fear of others

Generational lessons

Bibliography

Notes

Heinz Bude is one of the leading sociologists in Germany today. He is a fellow of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research and Professor of Macrosociology at the University of Kassel.

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