Reinvention  book cover
2nd Edition


  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2020
ISBN 9780367367268
November 29, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
136 Pages

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Book Description

Ours is the era of "reinvention". From psychotherapy to life coaching, from self-help manuals to cosmetic surgery, and from corporate rebranding to urban redesign: the art of reinvention is inextricably interwoven with the lure of the next frontier, the breakthrough to the next boundary – especially boundaries of the self.

In this new, updated edition of this remarkable book, Anthony Elliott examines "reinvention" as a key buzzword of our times. Through a wide-ranging and impassioned assessment, Elliott unmasks the ever-increasing globalization of reinvention – from reinvention gurus to business reinvention, from personal makeovers to corporate rebrandings. In doing so, he undertakes a serious if often amusing consideration of contemporary reinvention practices, including super-fast weight loss diets, celebrity makeovers, body augmentations, speed dating, online relationship therapies, organizational restructurings, business downsizings and many more.

The second edition of Reinvention includes a new chapter on the digital revolution and artificial intelligence, which situates reinvention within the context of technological automation. There is also a discussion of how the Covid-19 global pandemic has impacted today’s cultures of reinvention. In addition, there is a new concluding chapter in which the author develops further his theoretical account of the nature of reinvention societies.

This absorbing book will continue to be the ideal introduction to reinvention for students and general readers alike. Reinvention offers a provocative and radical reflection on an issue (sometimes treated as trivial in the public sphere) that is increasingly politically urgent in terms of its personal, social and environmental consequences.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the rise of reinvention

1. The reinvention of bodies

2. The reinvention of persons

3. The reinvention of careers

4. The reinvention of corporations

5. Networks of reinvention

6. The reinvention of places

7. Reinvention after AI

Conclusion: the reign of reinvention

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Anthony Elliott is Executive Director of the Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of South Australia, where he is Dean of External Engagement and Research Professor of Sociology. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and Senior Member of King’s College, Cambridge. He is the author and editor of many books in social theory, including most recently Identity Troubles (2016), The Culture of AI (2019) and Concepts of the Self (2020).


"Only the hardiest of souls dare look honestly at the welter of changes that beset us all. Still again Anthony Elliott shows us how it is done and what we must face."

Professor Charles Lemert, Yale University

"Anthony Elliott is without doubt the global expert on reinvention!"

Bo-Magnus Salenius, CEO, LearningMiles, Finland