Archive | January 2012

The Political Economy of Narcissism: Reflections on Narcissism and Self-Destruction, III

As I continue to read in Jean Twenge’s and Keith Campbell’s The Narcissism Epidemic, one of the criticisms I have of it is that the book is heavy on the psychology of narcissism and rather light on the sociology of it. Although I would recommend the book (with some reservations) it seems to me that the authors still lack a comprehensive model that would also include what we might refer to as “the political economy of narcissism”.
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The Myth of Narcissus: Reflections on Narcissism and Self-Destruction, II

One of the problems with relying on a medical model and a clinical definition of narcissism is that it tends to obscure the fact that almost all human beings fall into the trap we have come to call “narcissism”. It is, perhaps, the inevitable fate of creatures that develop ego-awareness, and is a problem that must be worked through. The universal religions arose in the form they did because of narcissism, even if it was earlier called by another name — idolatry. For the idols were traps for consciousness, and they remain so today, even if today they are now called “ideals” rather than “idols”.
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I, Me, Mine, Myself: Reflections on Narcissism and Self-Destruction

I am presently reading Jean M. Twenge’s and W. Keith Campbell’s book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, and making copious notes in the process. With this post, I want to begin sharing some of my observations and criticisms of their understanding of narcissism — where they go right, and where they go wrong — even if I haven’t yet concluded reading the book.
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