A brilliant study on the nature of choice, and how limitless freedom can lead to despair
We are encouraged from all sides to view our lives as being full of choices. Like the products on a supermarket shelf, our careers, our relationships, our bodies, our very identities seem to be there for the choosing. But paradoxically this seeming freedom to choose can create extreme anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy and guilt. The Tyranny of Choiceexplores how late capitalism's shrill exhortations to 'be oneself' can be a tyranny which only leads to ever-greater disquiet and how insistence on choice being a purely individual matter prevents social change.
With wisdom, humour and sensitivity, Renata Salecl examines the complexity of the essential human capacity to choose which has become mired in consumerist ironies.
Renata Salecl is a philosopher and sociologist. She is visiting professor at BIOS centre at the London School of Economics. Her previous books include On Anxiety and have been translated into ten languages.
'In this elegant, thoughtful essay, Renata Salecl shows us how today's abundance of choice makes us more anxious than ever before and less free than we might like to think. Beautifully crafted and concise, it will make readers question the hidden logic of their everyday lives.', Darian Leader, psychoanalyst and author of 'The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression'
'A penetrating analysis', Evening Standard
'Casting a clear light on our choice-saturated lives', Observer