From ‘Cultural Revolution’ to the Weariness of the Self: New Struggles for Recognition

Carla Penna


The ‘Cultural Revolution’ emerged at a confluence of ideas, practices, and discourses in the social-cultural sphere that promoted new figurations for individuality, liberty, equality, and fraternity.  Although the achievements of the 1960s and 1970s were transformative, fifty years later the post-modern world is facing unexpected socio-political hardships and witnessing the social suffering and the exhaustion of individuals. This paper aims to explore, drawing on reflections of philosophy, sociology, psychoanalysis and group analysis, some of the conscious and unconscious shifts of the last 50 years and their psychosocial consequences. To achieve this aim, it criticizes individualism as ideology by revisiting some of the socio-philosophical bases of Western societies, introducing as well the concepts of ‘freedom with’ and ‘social freedom’ to understand the new struggles for recognition posed to post-modern subjects.


cultural revolution, individualism, psychosocial suffering, struggle for recognition, freedom.

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