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What Happens to People in a Competitive Society

An Anthropological Investigation of Competition

Authors: Thorbjørnsen, Svein Olaf

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  • Presents an original perspective on research concerning the relationship between ethics and economics
  • Will hold value for scholars across a range of fields including anthropology, sociology, business, economics, ethics, philosophy, and religion
  • Brings an unusual perspective to a phenomenon that is widely acknowledged and often taken for granted
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-22133-1
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About this book

In this book, author Svein Olaf Thorbjørnsen probes the question: What is at stake for human beings in a society dominated by competition, particularly economic competition? Is competition endemic to human nature? Does it preserve the dignity and intrinsic value of the human being? Does it secure better living conditions? In a way, the answer to these queries is a simple “yes.”  It can allow for superior satisfaction of fundamental needs; legitimate self-love and self-realization; and encourage positive feelings upon mastering a skill. At the same time, however, competition can also contribute to a strong materialistic self-interest and support classicism, social ranking, and elitism: other human beings become only means to a personal success, thus jeopardizing fellowship and collaboration. In a hyper-competitive environment, some of the same positive human values mentioned above—self-love, self-realisation, individuality, and freedom—can be viewed to pose a threat to the realisation of one’s potential and to one’s true humanity. These competing, contradictory aspects of competition are presented and discussed from perspectives across varying disciplines, from social anthropology and economics to history, ethics, philosophy and theology.

About the authors

Dr. Svein Olaf Thorbjørnsen is Professor at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Oslo, Norway.

Reviews

“In this impressive study on competition and true humanity Svein Olaf Thorbjørnsen gives an original perspective on the relationship between ethics and economics. By providing a careful and critical analysis of the phenomenon of competition, he gives an important contribution to the critique of the image of human behavior within economic theory.”

—Carl-Henric Grenholm, Professor of Ethics, Uppsala University, Sweden

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 58,84 €
price for India (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-22133-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 69,99 €
price for India (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-22132-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
What Happens to People in a Competitive Society
Book Subtitle
An Anthropological Investigation of Competition
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-22133-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-22133-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-22132-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 423
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics

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