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Modern society – a narcissistic society

Modern society – a narcissistic society

Beauty and the pursuit of physical perfection have recently led to the development of a personality structure and specific behaviors.

Modern society – a narcissistic society

Psychology Hour
Dr. Leli

Using filters when we post photos on social networks, we are moving further and further away from the reality of a human face or body. We end up wanting the same perfect face and when we find out that this is not the case, we think more and more about cosmetic surgery. All this has invariably led to the development of a narcissistic society, in which beauty is at the forefront.

Interest in narcissism and narcissistic personality has spread like wildfire in recent years. Thus, we have gone from a historical moment in which not everyone knew the meaning of this word and its different meanings, to a social and cultural context in which we speak of a narcissistic society, narcissistic relations and, only to a small extent, and of narcissistic personality disorder. We are in the age of self-praise, in which every moment of the protagonists’ lives is described in social journals, selfies, self-praise, the pursuit of perfection. Therefore, individuals with a narcissistic personality are self-centered and self-referential, do not take the other into account in their needs or opinions, and achieve their goals at all costs. It is to be expected in a society as competitive as the current one. Contemporary society often reinforces this attitude by promoting a dynamic of extreme appetite and desire for power, of changing roles according to desire and fashion, in which the motto “everything without limits” shows that the central rule becomes that of uncontrolled movements, as if we perceived ourselves and could adapt and invent the space around us, in the omnipotent fantasy that the other does not exist or is not a subject like us. The grandiose image of these new narcissists is an unrealistic and ideal self-projection, which compensates for a much more modest and fragile self-representation, characterized by weakness and inferiority.

Perhaps in order to try to understand better, it is useful to use a social-analytical view; today we are talking about a postmodern society invaded simultaneously by the absence of the other and by its own amplified presence, the person becomes scared by the other as a presence and a constitutive connection, he celebrates his own importance. It is important to start reflecting, starting from the media phenomena of the past and the present, and how all these aspects have gradually evolved to reach today’s image, also in its ever-changing liquidity. I remember when, in the 1980s, children turned on the television in the afternoon and found programs made for them, with puppet shows and puppets with which they could identify and create their own evolving self. Today, thirty years later, opening the television at the same time, we find television formats in which the triumph of narcissism is present through the struggle for the protection of individuality, in which the other is present as a mirror of their own needs and acts to live immediate emotions hope that he will be able to be chosen by those on the “throne” which can create its own self, but a stage in which there are several individuals, each fighting for self-assertion to the detriment of the others.A stage of transition from what has just been described so far, I think can be recognized in ’90, when a very famous advertisement of a well-known telephone company wrote “Everything is around you”, an early metaphor that described how reality, although it had not world without limits proper to postmodern society, was preparing to invent a reality in which the world was available in its terms and ready to be used without the presence of the other.

The narcissistic illusion of postmodern society would like to erase the taboo of man’s dependence on the other, to isolate him as much as possible, immersed in a parallel reality in the internet networks. The concept is that of self-constitution, of self-foundation, of self-realization. Never has an age like ours overly exalted the figure of Narcissus as the emblem of a self-sufficient, independent, autonomous subject. Psychologist Lacan emphasized the deeply suicidal nature of human narcissism, idolizing his own image, pursuing the omnipotent dream of erasing otherness. Thus, the modern narcissist shows his furious passion, his capricious pride. Prejudice, xenophobia and fear of diversity are aspects that we see more and more often in modern society. It is for this reason that psychologists are increasingly interested in understanding phenomena such as collective memory and collective narcissism and their effects on the real world.

Modern society – a narcissistic society

For example, a study published in the Psychological Science magazine shows that 2,800 American residents were asked how much they thought contributed to the development of the United States. The percentages obtained varied from state to state. There was no right answer, but what came out was a lot of information about how these people are and think. The sum of the percentages in each state reached an unexpected figure even for researchers, of about 907%. The authors expected high percentages, but not to this extent.

Researchers also created a narcissism scale, which they called the “Narcissism Index.” In a second study, the same approach was applied globally. Residents in 35 countries were asked how Their nation has contributed much to the development of world history, and what emerges from the latter study is a collective narcissism that is even stronger than the previous one, and even Switzerland, the country with the lowest score and is historically neutral, has 11 Russia, which, with 60.8%, considers that it has contributed to the history of the world, is the leader of the world’s collective narcissism, ranking first in this study decade in Russia.