Daily, we are fed with advice, exhortations and answers about how we should become the best we can be. Coaches, marine commandos, adventurers and self-help gurus promote the message and offer their solutions. The problem is that the stress which the self-improvement industry imposes on us to be the best we can be, makes this impossible to achieve.
More and more people are seeking advice and help to improve themselves and their performance at home, at work and in education. Their support for the self-improvement industry legitimises the notion that we are never really good enough as we are, and this notion eventually becomes part of our own self-understanding. We come to depend more and more on other people as we seek to develop our sense of identity. Neither indifference nor aggressive criticism will help us to understand the popularity of this phenomenon.
This book aims to understand and explain why the selfimprovement industry exists.
Hans Erik Næss (1978–) has a doctorate in sociology from The University in Oslo and works as a senior consultant at Westerdals, the Oslo School of Arts, Communication an Technology. He has published several books, including Planet Norge. Det norske samfunn i en globaliserende verden (2011).