• Frank Furedi
  • Frank Furedi
  • Sociologist, commentator and author
More books
Invitation to Terror

Invitation to Terror

Unlike in previous wars and conflicts, today our sense of terror precedes and extends beyond acts of terrorism. Official reaction is driven by a narrative of fear that invites us to regard terrorism as incomprehensible, senseless and beyond meaning. Such a response based on confusion authorises acts of speculation and fantasy as legitimate forms of threat assessment. This dramatisation of security transmits a sense of helplessness that inadvertently offers society’s enemies an invitation to be terrorised.

Furedi believes that we lack an intellectual framework for confronting the fear of terrorism. The language we use betrays confusion about the threat we face and therefore undermines our capacity to engage with it. Those who pose the question of ‘Why do they hate us?’ are often unsure of who ‘they’ are. Even more unsettling is the realisation that many of us are less than certain about who ‘we’ are. In this startling and original book Frank Furedi engages with some of the most fundamental questions confronting society today.

Buy this book from Amazon (UK).

Read more about this book

Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?: Confronting 21st Century Philistinism

Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?

The Intellectual is an endangered species. In place of such figures as Bertrand Russell, Raymond Williams or Hannah Arendt - people with genuine learning, breadth of vision and a concern for public issues - we now have only facile pundits, think-tank apologists, and spin doctors. In the age of the knowledge economy, we have somehow managed to combine the widest ever participation in higher education with the most dumbed-down of cultures. In this urgent and passionate book, Frank Furedi explains the essential contribution of intellectuals both to culture and to democracy - and why we need to recreate a public sphere in which intellectuals and the general public can talk to each other again.

The first edition of this book met with urgent and volatile views – both in support and opposition to Furedi’s argument. In this second edition, he offers a candid and hard-hitting response to his critics.

Buy this book from: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

Read more about this book

Politics of Fear

Politics of Fear

The terms “left” and “right” pervade all our discussions of politics. But do they mean anything any more? And is it really satisfactory to reduce all our political debate to these two terms? This book shows how contemporary and recent developments, including the Cold War, the Culture Wars and Third Way-type managerialism, have created the need for a new conception of politics with an adequate conception of humanity - one that “remoralises” politics by taking humans seriously, recognises the centrality of morality and discussions of right and wrong, and utilises our imaginations. The book proposes a new, and inevitably controversial, humanist politics to escape the trap of 20th century political ideology.

Buy this book from Amazon (UK).

Read more about this book

Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability in an Uncertain Age

Therapy Culture

Therapy Culture explores the powerful influence of therapeutic imperative in Anglo-American societies. In recent decades virtually every sphere of life has become subject to a new emotional culture. Professor Furedi suggests that the recent cultural turn toward the realm of the emotions coincides with a radical redefinition of personhood. Increasingly vulnerability is presented as the defining feature of people’s psychology. Terms like people ‘at risk’, ‘scarred for life’ or ‘emotional damage’ evoke a unique sense of powerlessness.

Furedi questions the widely accepted thesis that the therapeutic turn represents an enlightened shift towards emotions. He claims that therapeutic culture is primarily about imposing a new conformity through the management of people’s emotions. Through framing the problem of everyday life through the prism of emotions, therapeutic culture incites people to feel powerless and ill. Drawing on developments in popular culture, political and social life, Furedi provides a path-breaking analysis of the therapeutic turn.

Buy this book from: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

Read more about this book

Culture of Fear

Culture of Fear

(Updated edition published by Continuum, March 2002, first published April 1997.)

Fear has become an ever-expanding part of life in the West in the twenty-first century. We live in terror of disease, abuse, stranger danger, environmental devastation and terrorist onslaught. We are bombard with reports of new concerns for our safety and that of our children,and urged to take greater precautions and seek more protection. But compared to the past, or to the developing world, people in contemporary Western societies have much less familiarity with pain, suffering, debilitating disease and death. We actually enjoy an unprecedented level of personal safety.

When confronted with events like the destruction of the World Trade Centre, fear for the future is inevitable. But what happened on September 11th 2001 was in many ways an old fashioned act of terror, representing the destructive side of the human passions. Frank Furedi argues that the greater danger in our culture is the tendency to fear achievements representing a more constructive side of humanity. We panic about GM food, about genetic research, about the health dangers of mobile phones. The facts often fail to support the scare stories about new or growing risks to our health and safefy. Our obsession with theoretical risks is in danger of distracting society from dealing with the old-fashioned dangers that have always threatened our lives.

Buy this book from: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA)

Read more about this book

< previous   next >