Self-Identity and Its Discontents: Sociology in the 1990s

Skinner, David, May, Vanessa and Rollock, Nicola (2016) Self-Identity and Its Discontents: Sociology in the 1990s. Sociology, 50 (6). NP13-NP23. ISSN 1469-8684

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This article introduces one of four e-special issues designed to celebrate 50 years of Sociology by showcasing the depth of material in the journal’s archive. ‘Identity’ was chosen as the focus for an e-special issue about the 1990s as this was an important period in the development of public and academic discussions around this slippery concept. A review of the journal’s content from that era reveals a surprising dearth of work on the politics of group identity. In contrast, British sociology’s growing interest in questions of self, subjectivity, lifestyle and life course is well represented. Much of this work was developed in critical dialogue with the ‘individualization thesis’ that argued that people increasingly acted as choice-making individuals in control of their own lives. Through sophisticated use of theory, research and case studies many of the articles included in the e-special challenge the simplifications of this thesis. The selected articles are grouped in four sections: the first looks at attempts to theorize self-identity in late modernity; this is followed by three articles on consumerism and lifestyle; the next section contains articles on biography and the life course. The selection finishes with two articles that reflect on how sociology teaching and research might be reconfigured to acknowledge explicitly the experiences and identities of those involved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: biography, individualization, life course, lifestyle, self-identity, 1990s
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2019 10:27
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 17:00

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