The Importance of Disappointment

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Psychology Press, 1994 - Psychology - 205 pages
This book explores the nature of identity in late modern society. The author, a sociologist and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, brings together the insights of both disciplines to argue that 'late, modern' society seems to present new possibilities of living that are in fact illusions. We come to believe that we can create ourselves; that we have 'rights' to aspects of life such as happiness, a 'fulfilling relationship', parents who love us unconditionally; we come to believe that we can find a 'real self' or alternatively we believe that we can be anything that we want to be as the occasion arises. Craib shows this through examining modern theories of death and mourning, contemporary ideas of masculinity, and notions of the self espoused by modern therapies.

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The organisation of mourning
Psychoanalysis as the theory of disappointment
Looking on the bright side
The organisation of social life
The fragmentation of everyday life
The powerful self and its illusions
what sort of man?
The disappointed self
The values of psychoanalysis

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About the author (1994)

Ian Craib is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex and a psychoanalytic group psychotherapist.

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