Insecurity in Modern Life Analytical Essay by Shaad

Discusses the issue of security at the ontological level, specifically in the contexts of the individual and home life
# 147133 | 1,785 words | 6 sources | APA | 2010 | BD
Published by on Feb 27, 2011 in Psychology (Theory) , Sociology (Media and Society) , Philosophy (General) , Hot Topics (General)

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This essay discusses insecurity as it is related to modern life, specifically in the context of home life. It considers how modern life represents a rupture with tradition and how this introduces insecurity into the life of the individual. It explains how the individual comes to rely on everyday routines of home life to provide a framework of stability and trust. It first considers the metaphysical explanations provided by Goffman and Giddens. Among the concepts considered are Goffman's idea of "normalcy" and Giddens' concept of identity formation through the "reflexive project of the self". This is followed by an account of Winnicott's psychoanalytical explanations, where it is explained how we come to grasp social realities through "good enough mothering", and how this leads on to the development of the "sociological imagination". Finally, it is shown how technology introduces new dimensions of insecurity into our lives, and yet at the same time technology helps to overcome these insecurities. The specific role of the media is highlighted in this regard. In the end it is claimed that modern life is not intrinsically more insecure that past times, but insecurity itself has become a constant concern, and that it is dealt with more and more at the level of the individual.

From the Paper:

"We normally think of security as against threats that assail us from without, but our very existence is also an arena of anxiety, and from which we seek security. Kierkegaard discusses existential angst and how we overcome it through a ``leap of faith''. Hannay, A., Kierkegaard, London: Routledge, p. 98. A further step away from the self is the home life, which describes the most immediate social environment of the individual. This is also a domain of anxiety, and far more so than what it was in previous ages. In traditional societies the family, and to an extent the local community, provided a haven of security and stability from which the interaction with the wider world of uncertainty was engaged in. However, the breakdown of the traditional structures has given rise to alienation. In this context the individual is more and more dependent upon habit and daily routine to lend stability and security within the wider social sphere. It is not necessarily the case that modern life is more fraught with danger than in the past."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and Self-identity: self and society in the late modern age. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Goffman, E. (1972). Interaction Ritual. London: Allen Lane.
  • Hannay, A. (1982). Kierkegaard. London: Routledge.
  • Mills, C. W. (2000). The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press US.
  • Silverstone, R., Hirsch, E. and Morley, D. (1994). "Information and communication technologies and the moral economy of the household" in Silverstone, R., Hirsch, E. (Eds) Consuming Technologies: Media and Information in Domestic Spaces. London: Routledge.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Insecurity in Modern Life (2011, February 27) Retrieved March 05, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Insecurity in Modern Life" 27 February 2011. Web. 05 March. 2024. <>