Social Theories Of Individualisation

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Q1-Individualisation The individualisation theory refers to the disintegration of previously existing social forms and the imposition in modern societies of new demands, controls, and constraints (Beck, 2002). Before the individualisation revolution, everything was predetermined for you ‘up there,’ echoing Calvin’s theory of predestination. People were put on a predetermined path no matter how much they wanted to express their individualisation. I will be examining the following facets of individualisation that are discussed by the main proponents of the theory: the decline of communism; the changing nature of employment; the welfare state; the decline in civic engagement; increased levels of stress as a result of atomization; meritocracy; the changing role of marriage; and the impacts on the life-course trajectory of these changes. I will support my view that these predictions for change have in fact occurred in the life-course trajectory with evidence and I will discuss different sources of social inequalities. A major social change is that of ‘precarious freedoms,’ meaning now people live with the pressure of making their own decisions. For example, China’s ‘iron rice-bowl’ which means a job-for-life and their ‘safety net of Communism’ is disintegrating (Beck, 2002). Another example is ‘precarious work’ provided on the basis of short-term contracts (Beck, 2000). This sums up the notion of ‘reflexive subjectivity’ discussed in Beck’s work (Beck, 2002). Beck uses

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