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Transformations: Identity Construction in Contemporary Culture Paperback – May 12, 2008
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"A provocative, original, and thoughtful writer, someone who addresses topics that are central to our culture from a fresh vantage point, and someone who is willing to challenge orthodoxies―right, left, and center―which prevent theorists of other stripes from seeing what's in front of their eyes." ―Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture
From the Publisher
"A provocative, original, and thoughtful writer, someone who addresses topics that are central to our culture from a fresh vantage point, and someone who is willing to challenge orthodoxies--right, left, and center--which prevent theorists of other stripes from seeing what's in front of their eyes." --Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture
Top customer reviews
McCracken has insightful analyses of trends in the arts, and I picked
up some interesting observations that he makes along the way to his
main thesis, I don't find his big picture--the justification for
writing the book--that compelling. For every current example of
transformation he gives, I could find an example of somebody doing it
centuries ago, and McCracken gives minimal attention to such
historical parallels. If more of that kind of transformation is going
on now, perhaps it's because there are more people alive, or more
wealth and leisure, or more freedom in all things. Finally, while I
was impressed with his breadth of scope, I sometimes thought he drew
his view too broadly and forced a lot of things into his thesis that
are described better with other frameworks.
If you remember "Dress for Success" or watch "What Not to Wear," this book will grab you and keep you turning pages!
I'd summarize, but to summarize this book (unlike so many more) is to lose most of the value. The flavor of the book and the examples, the examples, the examples give so much more than I can present in between 100 and 6000 words that a summary is almost offensive against the richness of the book. It's like saying: Moby Dick is about a guy chasing a whale.
My tiny attempt (existing only to entice my reader to read this book):
People have evolved the notion of the self over the course of history. Whereas in the deep past, identity was thought to be stable, the postmodern approach justifiably rejects this, and allows a fluidity of identity. And this is good, besides not being transient. Let Grant open your mind to the dizzying array of identity transformation in 2010, and show the historical chain whereby this modern fluidity is nonetheless connected back to the tribal experience of stable self. Along the way, your guide will, in passing, allow you to encounter every subculture in the modern world, and most historical ones as well.