Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Economic individualism


In this video you will learn how countries moved away from political analysis based upon class towards that based upon economic individualism. What were the factors that lead to a focus upon the individual, and individual consumption, and what were the effects of this transition?

You will also learn what Herbert Marcuse meant when he talked of the ‘one dimensional man’, and why he was so cynical of the movement towards an individualistic culture.

The contrast between these two models will set the scene for a focus upon identity politics as an expression of economic individualism in the next activity.


Davies, W. (2014) The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition. London: SAGE Publications Ltd and Theory, Culture & Society.

Marcuse, H. (2012 [1964]) One-Dimensional Man. Beacon Press, Boston.

This article is from the free online

How Politics Works: From the Individual to an International Scale

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education