Alain Ehrenberg: Das erschöpfte Selbst. Depression und Gesellschaft in der Gegenwart
Sauerborn, Elgen – 2022
Social upheavals of the second half of the 20th century, which transformed the principles of social coexistence and its normative paradigms, led not only to a dissolution of traditions and bonds, but also to a spread of pathological emotional states such as depression and exhaustion. In particular, the emancipation from established structures and conventions, which resulted in social transformations and the accompanying legal innovations as well as changes in organizations and companies, did not alone bring about a liberation of the subject: rather, psychological constraints replaced social constraints, and expectations and demands on the individual, who in late capitalism is increasingly required to take personal responsibility, initiative and permanent motivation, result in a pathological, exhausted subject. The social spread of depression is therefore not a coincidental development, but the inevitable consequence of the growing economic, political and social self-responsibility in the 21st century.