Once associated with the politics of liberation, identity has since become a more private and individualistic affair: about what we buy and how we look. This book is about rethinking the idea of the individual and ethical life ‘after identity’. It addresses these questions in a series of essays - on being an individual; why people fear and hate asylum seekers; memories of England; masculinity and the war on terror; climate change and ecological ethics; and the revolution in ageing.
‘There has been thus far no better inventory made of the human consequences of individualisation, and the price which individuals are required to pay for their freedom of self-assertion in a world vacated by the past and denying hospitality to the future. Rutherford has set and furnished the stage on which all debate of the present-day human condition and its prospect will need to be conducted.’
‘Jonathan Rutherford’s consideration of those essential issues - the self, identity - is always thought provoking. Even better, it carries an unusual and heartening optimism.’
‘The problems the thinking left face are complex. Modern consumer capitalism is busily shaping us in its image and destroying the ability to even imagine a different way of being human. Jonathan Rutherford faces up to the complexity of this challenge by using relevant and impressive high theory but does so in a way that is intensely political and immediate.’