chapter  1
ByChris Shilling, Philip A. Mellor
Pages 7

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book analyzes how the social, cultural and technological systems central to society are eroding existing social relationships and communities, leaving individuals directly exposed to their institutional logics. It emphasizes that the creation of societal order from disparate and internally complex individuals is an accomplishment that should never be taken for granted. The book examines how the embodied basis of humankind has itself been subject to radical change. It also examines the co-existence of secularization and de-secularization processes as evident in the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The book looks at how the practice of arbitrage has restructured the economy, being implicated in both major financial crises but also in investments in the creation of new social, cultural and even biological forms. It assesses the proliferation of forms associated with media and technology.