How can policy makers justify public intervention into private life? And why does this interference often translate into contradictory or non-reflexive politics on lifestyles? This engaging title discusses the social, cultural and policy consequences of these conditions as well as showing the effect of agency and choice upon regulation. The book critically examines: Neo-Liberal ideology and the free market; The Sociology of Modernity; The New Consumer Society; Citizenship in Mass Society; The power of Autonomy; and, The interaction of Regulation and Agency. It provides a developed 'genealogical' account of society, is enriched by original case-studies, and engages with a broad range of traditional approaches and sources - including the work of Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, Adam Smith and Pierre Bourdieu. This well researched and thought-provoking work will be of interest to students of social policy and sociology as well as policy-makers and field workers.
Introduction Lifestyle and the Social Bond The Good Order of Nature: Progress and Criticism in Adam Smith's Sociology of Modernity Autonomy: the Contracting individual Intimacy: the Romantic Self The New Consumer Society and Its Critics The Welfare State in the Consumer Society From Pastoral to Epistolary Power Inner-Directed or Other-Directed? Agency and Citizenship in Mass Society Re-Inventing the Social Contract