Barry Schwartz The Costs of Living

ISBN 13: 9780738852515

The Costs of Living

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9780738852515: The Costs of Living
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We all value freedom, family, friends, work, education, health, and leisure-"the best things in life." But the pressure we experience to chase the dollar in order to satisfy both the demands of the bottom line and the demands of our seemingly insatiable desire to consume are eroding these best things in life. Our children now value profit centers, not sports heroes. Our educational system is fast becoming nothing more than a financial investment where students are encouraged to expend more energy on making the grade than on learning about their world. Our business leaders are turning young idealists into cynics when they cut corners and explain that "everybody's doing it." The need to achieve in our careers intrudes so greatly on our personal world that we find ourselves weighing the "costs" of enjoying friendships rather than working. In this book, psychologist Barry Schwartz unravels how market freedom has insidiously expanded its reach into domains where it does not belong. He shows how this trend developed from a misguided application of the American value of individuality and self-pursuit, and how it was aided by our turning away from the basic social institutions that once offered traditional community values. These developments have left us within an overall framework for living where worth is measured entirely by usefulness in the marketplace. The more we allow market considerations to guide our lives, the more we will continue to incur the real costs of living, among them disappointment and loneliness.

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About the Author:

Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action in the psychology department at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, where he has taught for thirty years. He is the author of several leading textbooks on the psychology of learning and memory, as well as a penetrating look at contemporary life, The Battle for Human Nature: Science, Morality, and Modern Life. Dr. Schwartz is married and has two children.

From Kirkus Reviews:

This broad-brush essay starts from the premise that ``there can be too much freedom in life, and that too much freedom has a serious moral, social, and emotional price.'' Schwartz (Psychology/Swarthmore) is concerned with the darker side of the seemingly limitless choices of middle-class American life. Addressing the psychic toll exacted by too fervent a pursuit of money, power, and position, he catalogues many disturbing features of our time: predatory corporations, the status of medicine and law as self-regulating monopolies, the commercialization of professional sports. Ultimately, he concludes that we must sacrifice some individual freedom for community values and ``reform our institutions so that being a good person is less costly.'' The author is at his best is when he draws on his psychological expertise to make arguments about human nature, our attitudes toward consumption and status, the components of love, the value of work, and the importance of classroom attitudes that foster lifelong learning. Schwartz's grasp of politics and economics is less solid--he doesn't mention the communitarian movement, whose critique of individualism and advocacy of a sense of social responsibility would seem to make it a natural ally. Similarly, he offers only sketchy analyses of what's needed to reorient law and medicine, how to revamp college sports or foster model retail outlets such as consumer cooperatives. He offers an absorbing discussion of his own return to Judaism through a congregation rife with conflict over the relation between religion and politics, but he might also have explored whether institutions other than religious ones can help us ``reintroduce the language of responsibility and morality into our public life.'' Schwartz's ambitious reach understandably exceeds his grasp. But his effort is worthy, and his conclusions contain much sense. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780738852522: The Costs of Living

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ISBN 10:  073885252X ISBN 13:  9780738852522
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9780393036466: The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life

W W No..., 1994
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Book Description Xlibris Corporation. Hardcover. Condition: New. 400 pages. Dimensions: 8.6in. x 6.6in. x 1.2in.We all value freedom, family, friends, work, education, health, and leisure-the best things in life. But the pressure we experience to chase the dollar in order to satisfy both the demands of the bottom line and the demands of our seemingly insatiable desire to consume are eroding these best things in life. Our children now value profit centers, not sports heroes. Our educational system is fast becoming nothing more than a financial investment where students are encouraged to expend more energy on making the grade than on learning about their world. Our business leaders are turning young idealists into cynics when they cut corners and explain that everybodys doing it. The need to achieve in our careers intrudes so greatly on our personal world that we find ourselves weighing the costs of enjoying friendships rather than working. In this book, psychologist Barry Schwartz unravels how market freedom has insidiously expanded its reach into domains where it does not belong. He shows how this trend developed from a misguided application of the American value of individuality and self-pursuit, and how it was aided by our turning away from the basic social institutions that once offered traditional community values. These developments have left us within an overall framework for living where worth is measured entirely by usefulness in the marketplace. The more we allow market considerations to guide our lives, the more we will continue to incur the real costs of living, among them disappointment and loneliness. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780738852515

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