Culture Of Narcissism - Coolcatinvite

Culture of Narcissism


The culture of narcissism a book that got my attention from twitter after an argument on the timeline about the traits of narcissism the word narcissist seems to lose its meaning or people confuse its meaning without having a deep understanding of who is a narcissist and who is not I too use to confuse the meaning of narcissism we live in a society that want to tag people or give them names and am also a victim of that we all might be but I never wanted to be the layman on this frequently used word I don’t want to have surface understanding of the meaning of narcissism so I went deep and started searching and doing my research that was where I came upon this it was so captivating I told myself I am doing the summary of it on my non-fiction book summary section of my blog and sharing this knowledge so sit back and relax it’s a long read

Summary of Culture of Narcissism

The culture of narcissism started of talking about the modern state of America and it’s lost for past history though whatever is written in this first paragraph of this book can be related to almost the whole world the book kicked off with the comparison of old narcissist and the new narcissist the loss of political relation to personal relation the beginning of the search for self and the feeling of fake sobriety among the radicals of the 1960s the author who hugely argues about this new found trait among the new age claims the search of self among them is the illusion of self that has never been real and how due to this search of self-led to the rise of therapy religion substituting all other religion he would go on to write about how writers no longer on realistic and objective things anymore apart from the glorification of themselves

How confessional writing no longer looks like confessional writing but the writer leaving the reader to figure out the truth for themselves and with the false hope of fame around the narcissist and idea of it being attainable makes this void soul feel as if they can be part of something huge that they could feel that space with being accepted to admire and to be admired while writing of this chapter the author will draw more point of view from the criticism of Richard Sennet and Schur about privatism and the fall of the public man Schur will claim the therapeutic of the self is more practiced among the affluent and upper middle class and Sennet will argue how the consciousness of seeing the public life as the mirror to the self will lead to the degradation of politics

Second chapter started off with the writer telling us the misinterpretation of narcissism by its critics saying how they miss the trait and character of narcissism instead they call it self-love self-evaluation and selfishness that normally humans are selfish and most of the characters given to the narcissist are just human trait that rather the narcissist is fragile fearful and fascinated with celebrity and has a deteriorating relation between man and woman on the aspect of psychology and sociology every society have culture and individual personality and this tends to shape up the life of the narcissist through psychology and sociology

Narcissism has three stage the primary narcissist secondary narcissist and pathological narcissist on clinical literature where characters and traits of narcissism have been discussed starting from the upbringing of the patient he tends to lack love and develop hatred all this leads him to create a false image and object and this false image and object he holds to as the good perception of his upbringing therefore clinging so hard to it and have lack of dependency filled with rage he can’t express he runs away from commitment and stays void of happiness in the social circle

The narcissist embodies every trait that makes him successful though he makes no use of material but just to lead and use people he sees success not as a way of getting ahead but as a way of getting ahead of people and he tries to keep his options open and never commit to the company though his success is short lived because of midlife crises and the fear of old age with the cultural innovation of moving pictures it will lead to the huge rise in narcissism among society creating a perception that every move is being watch identifying more with the image than ever

With America being born in the Protestant virtue the author gave us steps on how the knowledge of self-advancement has developed through the century from the Protestant virtue of man having a calling and using that calling for the highest good of society to Benjamin Franklin virtue of success not only being the acquisition of money but of character the further the century went the further the meaning of success and self-development drifted from virtue and character to more love of money and less sociability with the excessive preaching of money and capitalism by the self-advancement prophet came to the eclipse of achievement because man no longer wants to get ahead but rather want to portray the image of success the organizational man no longer is interested in task and goals that gets him ahead but rather want to make an impression to his subordinate

The meaning of success is now measured by admiration and envy which will lead us to the social survival which will see the decline of the organizational man in all his neurotic urge to be accepted with his social ability to get ahead the new organizational man is absent of feeling and looking for every opportunity to manipulate others that society now has a therapy set aside for the protection of this kind of people with all the uncertainties around the world has led to loss of hope for the future 

In the beginning of the industrial capitalism employers saw workers as no more than a beast of burden non was concerned with the after work hours of its workers but later on as the progress of capitalism reached mass production this employers figured the workers cannot serve just a purpose of production they needed to be consumers there should be more literate in the society and not just learning of literacy but also of culture and with this came the age of mass consumption which will be influenced more with advertising that appeals to the desire of people


Advertising will someone make society be dominated by appearance and a strong unappeasable appetite for not only goods but for new expression and personal fulfillment that will drive to buying or possession to fill this inner void this mass consumption will bring us to the revolution of manners and morals giving women the right to smoke and drink in public and the youth consume whatever they wish to consume therefore with the domination of appearance we will come to see the relationship of advertising and propaganda

Propaganda chooses to portray the information but try not to appeal to the emotions it doesn’t really matter if the information is objective sometimes the truth is repressed if it sounds unbelievable and can’t sale it chooses to paint the picture of truth to the masses because it knows the public doesn’t really want much of truth but an image of it this imagery will go on to drive the political scene which is no more a struggle of power but spectacle not only does this imagery take it’s part in politics but it also happens in our daily life with our overly self-awareness we tend to be conscious of the image we project to the public

The narcissist tries to idealize the celebrity and hero because he sees himself identifying with such great personality and will do anything to fall into that spectacle even if it will result to murder of the celebrity or president in our projection of image we tend to get tired of our inauthenticity and detach ourselves from our work and society knowing they aren’t real and with industrial capitalism giving jobs that are beneath humans society goes out yearning for something grandiose

On the degradation of sport sport has always been the means of escape from everyday life to man just like sex drugs and alcohol being a spectator he has the means to escape himself from the everyday routine of the industrial capitalism into this world of fantasy but modern age sport tend to lose that grip of play the industrial capitalism has no tolerance for risk daring and uncertainty that serenades play with the industrial capitalism entering the space of sportsmanship sport no longer was filled with play but competitiveness like a form of militarism with the critics of sport saying sports needs to go back to its days of competence and not competition

The similarity of sport and art has been looked at and compared unlike art that thrives on novelty and shock in appeasing the audience majority of the sport audience have been watching and playing from birth and knows the rules of the game and most time the moment that counts is the one the player forgets who is watching the author will argue that over seriousness and competition is not what led to degradation of sport but it is trivialization the lack of illusion and fantasy not found in sport that led to all this

The imperialism and cult of the strenuous life in the nineteen century will have bourgeois society suppress popular sports and festivals among commoners to establish a state of sobriety and steadfastness among the locals sport being left for the middle class alone will later on being practiced by the commoners and will be seen as the corner stone that builds character and create the men of society that has gone to do great things though teamwork was encouraged in the organization and conceals the struggles for survival within the bureaucratic organization the industrial capitalism that has gotten its way into sport will have the athlete corporate with his teammates so he can have easy relation with them but still goes out to look out for himself and further his own interests and willingly sells his service to the highest bidder

All this justifies that sport is no longer just sport or a religion but modern sport is now entertainment and with it gravitating towards that end of entertainment University sport was heavily invested on to bring out the next generation of sport Superstars to quench the demand of the game and the new rise of journalism influenced the junior leagues heavily

The democratization of education led to mass education of the masses but in the process of democratization of education it has failed to tackle the problems of society it has failed to improve the popular understanding of modern society raised the quality of popular culture nor reduced the gap between wealth and poverty and on the other hand it has result in the decline in critical thinking though two of the key part of the creation of democratization was to create enlightened citizen and efficient workforce but along the line this objective shifted from industrial discipline to manpower selection

The democratization aim of bringing the fruits of modern culture to the masses gave way to a practice of education as a form of social control it will go on to discourage it’s pupil from aspiring to culture a whole new study called Americanization will be brought in the America schooling society that focused heavily on the industrial and vocational studies but this studies will be cut short with the introduction of non-academic subjects together with proliferation of athletic programs being thought to the student not for learning but to fill up the student time and keep him contented

The educational reformers will bring the family work into the school but all this will corrupt not merely the vocational and life adjustment program but the college preparatory course all this will lead to the deterioration of the industrial discipline to the point where intellectual and even manual training became incidental to the inculcation of orderly habits critics will go ahead to say both teachers and parents have gone ahead to soften the student

The civil Rights movement couldn’t even help the decline in education but it somehow found the part of challenging the status quo due to its constant attack from the black power about the gross injustice of the educational system with the segregation of learning in classroom but with the civil rights movement giving way to the movement of black power a new ideology among the radicals will criticize the school for imposing white middle class culture into the black community and will ask for their own courses and reforms

The socialization of reproduction saw the duties of the family being given to the school and other social bodies to help build the physical mental and social training of the child with the new ideology of seeing the child as the property of the state and not of the parent hence it’s welfare is a direct concern to the state all this will bring about the development of the juvenile court which is to be seen as a substitute to the home that parents who mistreat their child by their inadequacy neglect or cruel act the parental power of the state is entitled to remove the child from the parent custody

The juvenile court will serve as a social control presenting themselves as the height of ethical enlightenment that eroded the rights of the ordinary citizen their reforms empowered the court to pry into family affairs but those who refuse such a sweeping formulation of the state powers clung to the hope of parent education the likes of marriage counselors and therapist tried to straighten the family against the forces that tended to undermine it with the help of all the social reforms came the ideology of permissiveness in the catering of children needs that failure to give children love and security could lead to irreparable causes though few social reformers criticize such permissiveness and preferred the cult of authenticity that it soon hardened into a new dogma of its own

The dogma of authenticity advised parents to follow and trust their feelings though this idea of permissiveness and authenticity will lead to the collapse of parental guidance and provided it with moral justification it confirms and clothes the jargon emotional liberation but as the deterioration of the social worker and patriarchal family hits the psychological repercussions of the transfer of functions of the child starts showing with the industrial system monopolizing production the father became less and less visible to the child  father could no longer leave the working place to teach the child this has made it more difficult for the child to form a strong psychological identification with the parent

Due to the lack in parent visibility due to the industrial monopolization may of the parent especially the woman who are the default child rearing will be clueless on how to take care of their child seeking advice from all bodies dedicated to the wellbeing of children due to her lack of knowledge on how to raise her child she will result to over pampering and caring with no emotional depth and in the absence of the father the child sees himself or herself as extension of the father especially the female who goes around creating a grandiose image or trying to be with someone with a grandiose personality

Due to the decline in childrearing the trivialization of personal relationship will see sex being something freed from the bondage of procreation and made possible for people to value erotic life for its sake all this will lead to disintegration of the family with marriages meeting its early end depriving the child of any emotional security

The fear of death in some way the most characteristic expression of the times began growing deep in the psyche of people with this many expert concerned themselves with death and old age this concerns was approached from two angles the first seeks not to prolong life but to improve life its quality the second approach proposes to deal with old age as a medical problem

Though men have always been afraid of death and longed to live forever yet the fear of death has been intensified in recent years with the deprivation of religion in society and the little interest in posterity society now finding little use of old age and devaluing experience all this led to or enhanced the fear of death but of all the influences the greater of them all is the emergence of narcissistic personality being the dominant type of personality structure in contemporary society the fear of getting old and living life works for the younger one instills more fear into the narcissist because he rest his worth on outside sourcing growing out of that phase of grandiosity brings in much pain

But some writers will argue or try to paint old age with a new view a view of non-anxiety non-compulsion and recognition of personhood and also with cautioning of their followers against hoping on medical extension of the life span

Though numerous research have been done in the medical expansion of the old age and has been talked on and verified by scientist and professors but most of this have no solid ground and according to the author death is inevitable

This is where I end today’s article and I hope you had a wonderful reading experience remember this is an open discussion, do drop your take on the comment section and never forget I need you more closer subscribe to my telegram channel lets connect

Support a creative by sharing