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Sociology Seminar with Anthony Elliott on Networks of Reinvention

Date: 8 May 2012 Time: 4.15-6.00 pm

Venue: Bowland North SR 23


Anthony Elliott (Professor), Flinders University, Australia

Drawing on a wide range of social theories of identity, individualization and new individualism, this paper examines how proliferating "cultures of reinvention" are profoundly transformed by new communications technology - in particular, by global communication networks. Examining research on social networking sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn, an argument is developed that how people choose to identify themselves today as individuals - as the communicational architects of their own reinvented lifestyles - is undermining the very idea of individualism itself. The paper concludes by detailing the notion of a "technological unconscious" intricately interwoven with global networks of reinvention, and also reflects on some new burdens and risks associated with digital lifestyles of reinvention.

Anthony Elliott is Professor of Sociology at Flinders University, Australia. He is also Visiting Research Professor in Sociology at the Open University, UK and Visiting Professor of Sociology and Senior Fellow at the Social Science Research Centre at University College Dublin, Ireland. His recent books include Making the Cut (Chicago University Press, 2008), The New Individualism (Routledge, 2E, 2009 with Charles Lemert), Contemporary Social Theory: An Introduction (Routledge, 2009), Globalization (Routledge, 2010 with Charles Lemert, Daniel Chaffee and Eric Hsu), Mobile Lives (Routledge, 2010 with John Urry) and On Society (Polity, 2012 with Bryan Turner). He is the editor of The Routledge Companion to Social Theory (2009) and The Routledge Handbook of Identity Studies (2011), and coeditor of The Companion to Contemporary Japanese Social Theory (Routledge, 2012 with Masataka Katagiri and Atsushi Sawai). In 2013 Routledge will publish his new book, Reinvention.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Computing and Communications, Geography, Lancaster Environment Centre, Management Development Division, Management Learning and Leadership, Management Science, Mobilities.Lab, Sociology

Keywords: communication, Globalisation, Globalisation & mobility, Mobilities, Networks


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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