The new agents: personal transfiguration and radical privatization in New Age self-help

Redden, Guy (2002) The new agents: personal transfiguration and radical privatization in New Age self-help. Journal of Consumer Culture, 2 (1). pp. 33-52. ISSN 1741-2900

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Official URL: http://joc.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/2/1/33

Abstract

The New Age is a broad milieu which allows participants to undertake a range of activities in pursuit of self-improvement. Often characterized as a form of
religious consumerism in the popular media, it does not easily fit into received church-sect models of the sociology of religion. This article argues that the
movement’s market-type organizational logic, in which individuals typically choose from a range of belief options rather than commit to a central doctrine, is consonant
with the privatist concerns of personal authority and self-care found in its discourse. However, at the same time, the New Age does not reduce to some simple acquisitive
consumerism. It is better understood as offering solutions to the problem of personal agency in a post-traditional society which obliges individuals to assume the burden of
plotting their own destinies.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The New Age is a broad milieu which allows participants to undertake a range of activities in pursuit of self-improvement. Often characterized as a form of religious consumerism in the popular media, it does not easily fit into received church-sect models of the sociology of religion. This article argues that the movement’s market-type organizational logic, in which individuals typically choose from a range of belief options rather than commit to a central doctrine, is consonant with the privatist concerns of personal authority and self-care found in its discourse. However, at the same time, the New Age does not reduce to some simple acquisitive consumerism. It is better understood as offering solutions to the problem of personal agency in a post-traditional society which obliges individuals to assume the burden of plotting their own destinies.
Keywords:New age, Self-help, Consumerism, Countercultures, New social movements, Religion, Spirituality
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B340 Alternative Medicine
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Humanities
ID Code:655
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:07 Sep 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:23

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