Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism / Edition 1

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It is commonly assumed that capitalism has created an a-emotional world dominated by bureaucratic rationality; that economic behavior conflicts with intimate, authentic relationships; that the public and private spheres are irremediably opposed to each other; and that true love is opposed to calculation and self-interest.
Eva Illouz rejects these conventional ideas and argues that the culture of capitalism has fostered an intensely emotional culture in the workplace, in the family, and in our own relationship to ourselves. She argues that economic relations have become deeply emotional, while close, intimate relationships have become increasingly defined by economic and political models of bargaining, exchange, and equity. This dual process by which emotional and economic relationships come to define and shape each other is called emotional capitalism. Illouz finds evidence of this process of emotional capitalism in various social sites: self-help literature, women's magazines, talk shows, support groups, and the Internet dating sites. How did this happen? What are the social consequences of the current preoccupation with emotions? How did the public sphere become saturated with the exposure of private life? Why does suffering occupy a central place in contemporary identity? How has emotional capitalism transformed our romantic choices and experiences? Building on and revising the intellectual legacy of critical theory, this book addresses these questions and offers a new interpretation of the reasons why the public and the private, the economic and the emotional spheres have become inextricably intertwined.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Well written, conceptually rich, and a welcome addition tothe critical literature on emotion. It stands in juxtaposition tothe dominant psychological models of emotion that have beenunreflectively and uncritically reproduced, especially inorganizational behaviour texts.”
British Journal of Sociology

"Illuminates the contemporary expansion of therapeutic models ofself and relationships into all aspects of life."
Meghan Falvey, Modern Painters

"Once again, Eva Illouz demonstrates that she is a true heir tothe rich intellectual tradition of the Frankfurt School. Taking onthe exploration of the important territory where public culture andprivate consciousness connect, Illouz brilliantly develops theconcepts of emotional capital and emotional competence. Thiselegantly concise book will take its place alongside — and engagein provocative conversation with — the work of Bourdieu, Foucault,and Giddens."
Larry Gross, University of Southern California

"In a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history, EvaIllouz traces the entry of intimate emotions into what manythinkers have interpreted as the desiccating, rationalizingdiscourse and practice of capitalism. She opens our eyes to thelarge impact of therapeutic and feminist viewpoints on prevailinginterpretations of economic life."
Viviana A. Zelizer, Princeton University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745639048
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/20/2007
  • Series: Please Select a Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

E. Illouz, Professor of Sociology, The Hebrew University of Jersalem

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

1 The Rise of Homo Sentimentalis 1

Freud and the Clark lectures 5

A new emotional style 16

The communicative ethic as the spirit of the corporation 18

The roses and thorns of the modern family 24

Conclusion 36

2 Suffering, Emotional Fields, and Emotional Capital 40

Introduction 40

The self-realization narrative 43

Emotional fields, emotional habitus 62

The pragmatics of psychology 67

Conclusion 71

3 Romantic Webs 74

Romancing the Internet 75

Virtual meetings 76

Ontological self-presentation 79

Fantasy and disappointment 95

Conclusion: A new Machiavellian move 108

Notes 115

Index 130

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