Journal Article — The Nightmare of Clever Children: Civilization, Postmodernity, and the Birth of the Anxious Body — by Sean Conroy




This paper is the culmination of my undergraduate studies and reflects the theoretical directions I was heading at the time of my graduation as well as my own personal struggles with anxiety. Through conversations with my professor and my contemporaries I began to have the sense that anxiety, and particularly that of a social nature concerning the ability to relate to others is a prominent feature of my generation. I attempt to trace a link between uncertainty and anxiety using pertinent sociological, psychoanalytic and medical literature in order to better understand the possible social causes of this anxiety, with a particular focus on postmodern renditions of uncertainty. I use illustrations from personal experience and psychoanalytic theory to attempt to understand the origins of anxiety. Finally I attempt a history of consciousness in the west as I subjectively understand it in order to better comprehend how the current global context contributes to the social anxieties and attachment disorders so prevalent in my generation.

Recommended Citation

Conroy, Sean. 2007. “The Nightmare of Clever Children: Civilization, Postmodernity, and the Birth of the Anxious Body.” Pp. 21-40 in Insiders/Outsiders: Voices from the Classroom (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume V, Issue 2, 2007.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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