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The Burnout Society

9780804795098: Paperback
Release Date: 12th August 2015

Dimensions: 127 x 203

Number of Pages: 68

Stanford University Press

The Burnout Society

Every epoch has its emblematic illnesses, this book argues, and our society is undergoing a silent paradigm shift that has led to the pathological exhaustion commonly referred to as "burnout."

Paperback / £10.99

Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, "user-friendly" technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit disorder to borderline personality disorder. Byung-Chul Han interprets the spreading malaise as an inability to manage negative experiences in an age characterized by excessive positivity and the universal availability of people and goods. Stress and exhaustion are not just personal experiences, but social and historical phenomena as well. Denouncing a world in which every against-the-grain response can lead to further disempowerment, he draws on literature, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences to explore the stakes of sacrificing intermittent intellectual reflection for constant neural connection.

Korean-born German philosopher Byung-Chul Han teaches philosophy and cultural studies at Berlin's University of the Arts (UdK). In the past few years, his provocative essays have been translated into numerous languages, and he has become one of the most widely read philosophers in Europe and beyond. His work is presented here in English for the first time.