Pursuit of Attention Power and Ego in Everyday Life

ISBN-10: 0195135490

ISBN-13: 9780195135497

Edition: 2nd 2000 (Revised)

Authors: Charles Derber
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Description: "Enough about me," goes the old saying, "what about you? What do you think about me?" Hence the pursuit of attention is alive and well. Even the Oxford English Dictionary reveals a modern coinage to reflect the chase in our technological age: "ego-surfing"--searching the Internet for occurrences of your own name. What is the cause of this obsessive need for others' recognition? This useful and popular volume, now in a second edition that features major new introductory and concluding essays, entertainingly ponders this question. Derber argues that there is a general lack of social support in today's America, one which causes people to vie hungrily for attention, and he shows how individuals will often employ numerous techniques to turn the course of a conversation towards themselves. Illustrating this "conversational narcissism" with sample dialogues that will seem disturbingly familiar to all readers, this book analyzes the pursuit of attention in conversation--as well as in politics and celebrity culture--and demonstrates the ultimate importance of gender, class, and racial differences in competing for attention. Derber shows how changes in the economy and culture--such as the advent of the Internet--have intensified the rampant individualism and egotism of today. And finally, in a new afterword, he focuses on solutions: how to restructure the economy and culture to humanize ourselves and increase the capacity for community, empathy, and attention-giving.

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Book details

List price: $19.99
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/15/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.550

Charles Derber, Professor of Sociology at Boston College, has written for Newsday, Newsweek, Business Week, Time, the Christian Science Monitor, and other magazines. He speaks frequently on National Public Radio, talk radio, and television. His most recent book is Capitalism: Should You Buy It? An Invitation to Political Economy (Paradigm 2014).

Acknowledgments
Introduction to the Second Edition
Informal Dynamics Individualism
Introduction
Every Man for Himself; Every Woman for Herself: Individualism Face-to-Face
Monopolizing the Conversation: On Being Civilly Egocentric
Formal Dynamics Power
Introduction
The Gift of Attention-Giving: On Women Imposed
Attention for Sale: The Hidden Privileges of Class
On One's Own: The Overburdened Self and the Need for Attention
Conclusion to the Second Edition
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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