We are encouraged from all sides to view our lives as being full of choices. Like the products on a supermarket shelf, our careers, our relationships, our bodies, our very identities seem to be there for the choosing. But paradoxically this seeming freedom to choose can create extreme anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy and guilt. The Tyranny of Choice explores how late capitalism’s shrill exhortations to ‘be oneself’ can be a tyranny which only leads to ever-greater disquiet and how insistence on choice being a purely individual matter prevents social change.
With wisdom, humour and sensitivity, Renata Salecl examines the complexity of the essential human capacity to choose which has become mired in consumerist ironies.