The Burnout Society

The Burnout Society

72 pages


Genre: Sociology, Philosophy, Essay, Nonfiction
Translated in over 35 languages, Byung-chul Han's bestselling analysis of the burn-out

We are living in a pathological landscape of neuronal disorders caused by an excess of positivity. Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, "user-friendly" technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit disorder to borderline personality disorder. Byung-Chul Han interprets the spreading malaise as an inability to manage negative experiences in an age characterized by excessive positivity and the universal availability of people and goods. Stress and exhaustion are not just personal experiences, but social and historical phenomena as well. Denouncing a world in which every against-the-grain response can lead to further disempowerment, he draws on literature, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences to explore the stakes of sacrificing intermittent intellectual reflection for constant neural connection.

German title: Müdigkeitsgesellschaft
ISBN: 978-3-88221-616-5
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2010
Print run: 13
Sold to: Estonia, Thailand, Vietnam, Lithuania, Russische Föderation, Albania, Mongolia, Japan, Hungary, Egypt, China, Poland, Portugal, Taiwan, Macedonia, Tschechische Republik, Turkey, Serbia, Greece, France, Denmark, Romania, Brazil, Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, Italy, Spain, United States

Sample translation

English translation available

"Rarely has a small essay so unostentatiously and lastingly irritated contemporary certainties to which one has comfortably surrendered."
Adam Soboczynski, Die Zeit