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The new agents: personal transfiguration and radical privatization in New Age self-help

By Guy Redden

Abstract

The New Age is a broad milieu which allows participants to undertake a range of activities in pursuit of self-improvement. Often characterized as a form of\ud religious consumerism in the popular media, it does not easily fit into received church-sect models of the sociology of religion. This article argues that the\ud movement’s market-type organizational logic, in which individuals typically choose from a range of belief options rather than commit to a central doctrine, is consonant\ud with the privatist concerns of personal authority and self-care found in its discourse. However, at the same time, the New Age does not reduce to some simple acquisitive\ud consumerism. It is better understood as offering solutions to the problem of personal agency in a post-traditional society which obliges individuals to assume the burden of\ud plotting their own destinies

Topics: B340 Alternative Medicine, P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified
Publisher: Sage
Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1177/146954050200200102
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:655
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