Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism / Edition 1

Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism / Edition 1

by Eva Illouz
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520205715

ISBN-13: 9780520205710

Pub. Date: 05/29/1997

Publisher: University of California Press

To what extent are our most romantic moments determined by the portrayal of love in film and on TV? Is a walk on a moonlit beach a moment of perfect romance or simply a simulation of the familiar ideal seen again and again on billboards and movie screens? In her unique study of American love in the twentieth century, Eva Illouz unravels the mass of images that define…  See more details below

Overview

To what extent are our most romantic moments determined by the portrayal of love in film and on TV? Is a walk on a moonlit beach a moment of perfect romance or simply a simulation of the familiar ideal seen again and again on billboards and movie screens? In her unique study of American love in the twentieth century, Eva Illouz unravels the mass of images that define our ideas of love and romance, revealing that the experience of "true" love is deeply embedded in the experience of consumer capitalism. Illouz studies how individual conceptions of love overlap with the world of clichés and images she calls the "Romantic Utopia." This utopia lives in the collective imagination of the nation and is built on images that unite amorous and economic activities in the rituals of dating, lovemaking, and marriage. Since the early 1900s, advertisers have tied the purchase of beauty products, sports cars, diet drinks, and snack foods to success in love and happiness. Illouz reveals that, ultimately, every cliché of romance—from an intimate dinner to a dozen red roses—is constructed by advertising and media images that preach a democratic ethos of consumption: material goods and happiness are available to all. Engaging and witty, Illouz's study begins with readings of ads, songs, films, and other public representations of romance and concludes with individual interviews in order to analyze the ways in which mass messages are internalized. Combining extensive historical research, interviews, and postmodern social theory, Illouz brings an impressive scholarship to her fascinating portrait of love in America.

Author Biography: Eva Illouz is Assistant Professor ofSociology at Tel-Aviv University.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520205710
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
05/29/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
332
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction to the Sociology of Love1
Ch. 1Constructing the Romantic Utopia25
Ch. 2Trouble in Utopia48
Ch. 3From the Romantic Utopia to the American Dream81
Ch. 4An All-Consuming Love112
Ch. 5Real Fictions and Fictional Realities153
Ch. 6Reason within Passion187
Ch. 7The Reasons for Passion208
Ch. 8The Class of Love247
Conclusion: A Happy Ending?288
App. 1A Few Words about Methods297
App. 2Questionnaire304
App. 3Images of Romance312
Notes317
References345
Index365

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