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The corrosion of character: The personal consequences of work in the new capitalism

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  1. Introduction
  2. The corrosion of character
  3. The personal consequences of work
  4. New capitalism
  5. About Richard Sennett
  6. Conclusion

The text we have is extracted from a book written by Richard Sennett in 1998 about new capitalism and its consequences on work and on personal lives. In this extract we have two chapters of the book.

The first chapter, called ?Drift?, is based on a true story of a family to show that things have considerably changed between two generations (a father and his son). Compared to his father Enrico, the son Rico fulfilled his dreams but he rejected the way he was educated by his father. Indeed, in order to succeed his social mobility, Rico had to open to the world, to be less communitarian than his father. Rico enjoyed the American Dream and learnt new values such as risk, freedom and ambition. And he succeeded in business, even if he often had to change of jobs.

But he still fears to lose control of the situation and finds it is difficult to have his own firm is such economic environment. His wife also has problems to organize work because of its separation into many places. Both of them fear because they do not know the good way to act in such uncertain economy. This work uncertainty has a lot of impacts on the way people behave in their private life. For instance, Rico explains this causes high pressure in his family and with all the work he has to do, he feels that he sometimes neglects his children.

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