In the wake of the 2008-2009 economic recession, this revealing work offers a psychological explanation of how we as a nation grapple with self-control and how we can develop a new and healthier generation.
With the market buckling, the banks knocked to their knees, and massive amounts of presumed wealth revealed as the product of self-deception and breathtaking criminality, an age of indulgence has, hopefully, ended. Economically, we understand how it happened, but why did it happen? What psychological factors fueled the years of excess and how do we refocus ourselves for a more rational, self-controlled future?
As J.R. Slosar shows in this urgent, sometimes startling volume, the nation’s fast-and-loose approach to money was in fact a symptom of a more widespread pattern of excessive behavior. In The Culture of Excess: How America Lost Self-Control and Why We Need to Redefine Success, Slosar portrays an America where the drive to succeed and the fear of missing out manifested itself not only in self-entitled corporate fraud, but in everything from sharp rises in obesity and cosmetic medical procedures to equally troubling increases in eating disorders, panic attacks, and outbreaks of uncontrollable rage.
The Culture of Excess is the first book to assess the impact of economic and social factors on the nation’s psychological well-being. Narcissism, productive narcissism, psychopathy, rigidity and self destruction, perfectionism, the illusion of success, and identity achievement all come into play as Slosar diagnoses the psychological drivers behind this indulgent age, offering his prescription for helping “Generation Me” become “Generation We.”
• Numerous vignettes and case studies illustrate the major themes of the book
• Dozens of research citations at the end of each chapter
• An extensive bibliography referencing 75 professional journals and 48 books
• A comprehensive index
• Shows how the extraordinary growth of capitalism, technology, and media interact and become additive factors to the loss of self-control
• Defines the underlying cause of declining self-control as cultural narcissism, which leads to excessive risk taking
• Explains how the compromises made in adapting to intense economic competition lead to a false sense of self and reality
• Connects the rise of cultural excess to a decline in critical thinking and analysis that fosters an avoidance of data, numbers, and math