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From Preface and Introduction . . . Growth as will and representation not only pervades corporate headquarters, stock exchanges and ministries, but also our heads, the author argues. Material goods no longer serve just our basic needs for food, housing, health, education and vitality. They also provide indicators of social status, relationships and cultural preferences. Indeed, they shape our sense of belonging and identity. We are all familiar with the desire for something new, for increasing income, for possessions, and for ever more exotic vacations. According to Welzer, the idea of endless growth has been embedded in our emotional and cognitive lives since the Industrial Revolution. It finds its expression in our career preferences and plans for professional advancement, as well as our quests to discover the “real me” or a “higher level of understanding”. People today actively pursue happiness – they want to make something of their lives, not just once but again and again . . .

Originaltitel: Mentale Infrastrukturen: Wie das Wachstum in die Welt und in die Seelen kam