By Anthony Elliott

© 2013 – Routledge

120 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415682848
pub: 2012-11-30
US Dollars$23.95
Hardback: 9780415682831
pub: 2012-11-30
US Dollars$104.00

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About the Book

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 insightful and provocative book, Anthony Elliott examines ‘reinvention’ as a key buzzword of our times. Through a wide-ranging and impassioned assessment, Elliott reviews the new global forms 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.

This absorbing book is an ideal introduction to the topic of 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

Preface. Acknowledgments. 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. Conclusion: The Reign of Reinvention. Further Reading. References

About the Series


Shortcuts is a major new series of concise, accessible introductions to some of the major issues of our times. The series is developed as an A to Z coverage of emergent or new social, cultural and political phenomena. Issues and topics covered range from food to fat, from climate change to suicide bombing, from love to zombies. Whilst the principal focus of Shortcuts is the relevance of current issues, topics and debates to the social sciences and humanities, the books will also appeal to a wider audience seeking guidance on how to engage with today’s leading social, political and philosophical debates. Short and concise, the books will include cutting-edge pedagogical features such as a glossary of key terms, one-page argument summaries and a webliography.

Anthony Elliott is Director of the Hawke Research Institute, where he is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of South Australia. He is also Visiting Professor at University College Dublin, Ireland. His contact information is:


Professor Anthony Elliott, FASSA

Director, Hawke Research Institute

Research Professor of Sociology

University of South Australia

GPO Box 2471

Adelaide SA 5001


Tel.: 61 8 8302 1084




UCD School of Sociology
Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 716 8674
Fax: +353 1 716 1125

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General