Narcissism -- a very positive and inflated view of the self -- is everywhere. It's what you have if you're a politician and you've strayed from your wife, and it's whyÊfive times as many Americans undergo plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures today than did just ten years ago. It's the value that parents teach their children with song lyrics like "I am special. Look at me," the skill teenagers and young adults obsessively hone on Facebook and MySpace, and the reason high school students physically beat classmates and then broadcast their violence on YouTube for all to see. It's the message preached by prosperity gospel and the vacuous ethos spread by celebrity newsmakers. And it's what's making people depressed, lonely, and buried under piles of debt.
Jean M. Twenge's influential and controversial first book, Generation Me, generated a national debate with its trenchant depiction of the challenges twenty- and thirtysomethings face emotionally and professionally in today's world -- and the fallout these issues create for older generations as well as employers. Now, Dr. Twenge is on to a new incendiary topic that has repercussions for every age-group and class: the pernicious spread of narcissism in today's culture and its catastrophic effects. Dr. Twenge joins forces with W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on narcissism, for The Narcissism Epidemic, their eye-opening exposition of the alarming rise of narcissism -- and they show how to stop it.
Every day, you encounter the real costs of narcissism: in your relationships and family, in the workplace and the economy at large, in schools that fail to teach necessary skills, in culture, and in politics. Even the world economy has been damaged by risky, unrealistic overconfidence. Filled with arresting anecdotes that illustrate the hold narcissism has on us today -- from people hiring fake paparazzi in order to experience feeling famous to college students who won't leave a professor's office until their B+ becomes an A -- The Narcissism Epidemic is at once a riveting window into the consequences of narcissism, a probing analysis of the culture at large, and a prescription to combat the widespread problems caused by narcissism. As a society, we have a chance to slow the epidemic of narcissism once we learn to identify it, minimize the forces that sustain and transmit it, and treat it where we find it. Drawing on their own extensive research as well as decades of other experts' studies, Drs. Twenge and Campbell show us how.
Twenge (Generation Me) and Campbell (When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself) argue that the U.S. is suffering from an epidemic of narcissism, as real and as dangerous as the more widely reported obesity epidemic. Although Christopher Lasch s 1979 bestseller The Culture of Narcissism identified the phenomenon, this book draws on far more extensive research findings to claim that one in 10 Americans in their 20s suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, a psychocultural affliction and unanticipated consequence of the emphasis placed on self-esteem and self-promotion in modern parenting and the media and fed by Internet social networking sites that reinforce an obsessive need for admiration and ego-enhancement. At times, the authors sound like old scolds, but they themselves are members of the Me Generation and support their generalizations with persuasive evidence, particularly data derived from surveying 37,000 college students. Suggesting that the current financial crisis is, in part, a consequence of the narcissism epidemic affords the book an unexpected up-to-the-minute dimension, and the authors conclude with a dash of optimism, positing that straitened circumstances might cure Americans of all ages of narcissism.
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I loved this book! It brought up all the common myths about narcissists and playfully brought to light to truth behind the self centered prince or princess in your life. It changed my view on how I'm going to parent. I would recommend this book to anyone would wants clarity on what narcissism is about and how to prevent it.