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Business & Economics Consumer Behavior

The Ego Boom

Why the World Really Does Revolve Around You

by (author) Steve Maich & Lianne George

Key Porter Books
Initial publish date
Jan 2009
Consumer Behavior
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2009
    List Price

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If individuality?by which we mean one's inherent right to self-expression, self-actualization and self-fulfillment?is the highest ideal of a free society, then we North Americans are living in a Golden Age. The inclination to do it your way is an idea that permeates our art and literature; it underpins all the seminal philosophies upon which our democratic society is premised. Mill and Emerson. Feminism and civil rights. The 60s' “find your bliss” ethos. The 80s' “me” generation. The arrival of the Internet in the 90s and the impending consumer tsunami called “mass customization.”
The unifying theme has been the same: there is nothing more vital than the power to choose?and to express oneself through those choices.
Atomization?the breaking apart of social systems into ever smaller pieces?is emerging as the most powerful force shaping Western society. This force is changing the spaces we inhabit; how we approach work; the way we manage our money; even the ways we find companionship, love and spirituality. Today, more people are living alone than in a household. Married couples are a minority. Reports suggest we busy ourselves with more personal interests but maintain fewer friendships. We spend billions of dollars a year on products and services designed to bolster?temporarily'some fragile and mythical notion of our own precious uniqueness.
We inhabit a culture of narcissism in which self-actualization?on ever more insignificant scales?is each person's number one priority.
The Ego Boom: Why the World Really Does Revolve Around You is a fascinating, alarming, witty and deeply sobering examination of how the seductive promise of self-actualization in our consumer society is pure illusion.

About the authors

STEVE MAICH is a senior editor and national business columnist for Maclean’s magazine. Before that he was a columnist and feature writer for the National Post. He has covered media and technology for Bloomberg News and was a political writer for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. He has won several journalism awards for feature writing and investigative reporting, including the 2005 National Magazine Award for his columns in Maclean’s. He lives in Toronto.

LIANNE GEORGE is a senior editor for Maclean’s. Previously, she worked as a writer and editor at Saturday Night, ELLE Canada and Shift magazines, and as an arts and life reporter for the National Post. Her feature articles, which primarily address social and cultural trends, have been published in Azure and Report on Business magazines, and she is co-author of the gold-medal winning book Out to Brunch. She lives in Toronto]]>

Steve Maich's profile page

Lianne George's profile page