Ikigai In Society

713 Words3 Pages
Society manipulate individuals to hold certain kinds of ikigai so as to fulfil society’s needs and functioning. This is illustrated by Baumeister (1991) who states that “Society needs people to obey laws, produce goods and services, and reproduce” (p.362). In order to fulfil these needs, society requires people to hold work as their ikigai, for example, in order for the production of goods and services. Society requires people to hold family as their ikigai for reproduction and socialisation of their children into the society, to ensure that the society continues to function. In the most extreme case, if no one holds family as their ikigai, there will be no future generations, society will collapse and human will simply fall into extinction.…show more content…
In order for society to succeed in manipulating people, “people must accept the basic legitimacy and viability of the system as a whole, and they must also embrace the system of rewards and incentives that the society offers” (Baumeister, 1991, p.362). Thus, it requires “individuals and society to cooperate in helping people sustain self-deception and illusion in their meanings of life” (Baumeister, 1991, p.363). The mutual bluff works because individuals want to be happy and illusion is crucial for happiness (Baumeister, 1991, p.361). People “use various distortions to inflate their self-esteem” (Baumeister, 1991, p.362). The society makes use of and encourages this illusion to benefit society. For instance, in work, one may believe that he/she is very important to the company and the boss makes use of this believe by encouraging the staff, giving rewards, be it tangible or verbal, to make the staff feel worthy in the company. This mutual bluff benefits the company because the staff will feel motivated to work hard for the company. This channels and manipulates the staff into holding work as his/her ikigai as satisfaction is derived from…show more content…
Alfred Adler argues that “the basic law of human life is the urge to self-esteem” and Becker (1971) proposes that humans “switch modes of maintaining self-esteem” (p.66-67). We change from a bodily mode of maintaining self-esteem to a symbolic mode of obtaining self-esteem (Becker, 1971, pp.66-67). This means that symbols like language, grades, money, words affect our self-esteem greatly and “almost all our time is devoted to the protection, maintenance, and aggrandizement of the symbolic edifice of our self-esteem” (Becker, 1971, p.67). This makes our achievement of self-esteem and sense of significance very dependent on the society. “Self-esteem depends on our social roles” and “everyone is always bothering everyone else for a recognition of their basic value” (Becker, 1971, p.70). Thus, society can successfully manipulate individuals to hold certain kinds of ikigai and individuals consent to such manipulation because society uses symbols to reward us, giving us a sense of fulfilment and boost our self-esteem, which fits the “basic law of human life” proposed by Alfred Adler (Becker,
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