« With the end of the great principles of social organization inherent to industrial society and the ideology of progress, risk has become the focal point of our society.
This change has affected the way in which empowerment is understood. Individualization, demanded of everyone and experienced collectively, has turned identity into a project.
One’s identity is no longer inherited in an irrational, natural, or systematic way – rather it results from each person’s introspection.
People now have greater independence from traditional forms of social reproduction, i.e. family, class, and gender. Yet, this implies that individuals, solicited by institutions, are supposed to take charge of their destiny and create meaning for their own existence.
The immediate benefit is emancipation, as people can choose the groups to which they identify.
The downside may be tiredness of always trying to be someone different or suffering from the strain and loneliness of a never-ending process geared towards full autonomy and individuality. »