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Our Superheroes, Ourselves

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Overview


Superhero fans are everywhere, from the teeming halls of Comic Con to suburban movie theaters, from young children captivated by their first comic books to the die-hard collectors of vintage memorabilia. Why are so many people fascinated by superheroes?

In this thoughtful, engaging, and at times eye-opening volume, Robin Rosenberg--a writer and well-known authority on the psychology of superheroes--offers readers a wealth of insight into superheroes, drawing on the ...

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Our Superheroes, Ourselves

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Overview


Superhero fans are everywhere, from the teeming halls of Comic Con to suburban movie theaters, from young children captivated by their first comic books to the die-hard collectors of vintage memorabilia. Why are so many people fascinated by superheroes?

In this thoughtful, engaging, and at times eye-opening volume, Robin Rosenberg--a writer and well-known authority on the psychology of superheroes--offers readers a wealth of insight into superheroes, drawing on the contributions of a top group of psychologists and other scholars. The book ranges widely and tackles many intriguing questions. How do comic characters and stories reflect human nature? Do super powers alone make a hero super? Are superhero stories good for us? Most contributors answer that final question in the affirmative. Psychologist Robert J. Sternberg, for instance, argues that we all can learn a lot from superheroes-and what we can learn most of all is the value of wisdom and an ethical stance toward life. On the other hand, restorative justice scholar Mikhail Lyubansky decries the fact that justice in the comic-book world is almost entirely punitive, noting extreme examples such as "Rorschach" in The Watchmen and the aptly named "The Punisher, who embrace a strict eye-for-an-eye sense of justice, delivered instantly and without mercy.

In the end, the appeal of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and legions of others is simple and elemental. Superheroes provide drama, excitement, suspense, and romance and their stories showcase moral dilemmas, villains we love to hate, and protagonists who inspire us. Perhaps as important, their stories allow us to recapture periods of our childhood when our imaginations were cranked up to the maximum--when we really believed we could fly, or knock down the bad guy, or save the city from disaster.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dr. Rosenberg has given readers a collection of insightful and thought-provoking writings that enhance the myths we have embraced. These essays expand our understanding of our society as well as our understanding of who we are." -- New York Journal of Books

"OUR SUPERHEROES, OURSELVES is a fantastic collection of well developed studies and topics."

Ideas like Bullets

"This is a focused effort that advances understanding of comics from a psychological perspective. While the editors make it clear that the book will not provide any definitive answer, the wide-ranging chapters push scholars to investigate superheroes and supervillans as cultureal evidence about who we were in the past and are today. These two books are important works in a burgeoning field." -A.W. Austin, Misercordia University, CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199765812
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/22/2013
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 962,616
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin S. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and author. Dr. Rosenberg writes college-level psychology textbooks and enjoys using superheroes and their stories to illustrate psychological phenomena. She blogs for Huffington Post and Psychology Today and has been featured in various media including the Financial Times, NPR, Boston Phoenix, LiveScience, Philadelphia Inquirer, special features on superhero DVDs, and documentary films. She is editor of The Psychology of Superheroes and author of What's the Matter with Batman? An Unauthorized Clinical Look Under the Mask of the Caped Crusader.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Our Relationship with Superheroes

Introduction
Robin Rosenberg

Chapter 1. our fascination with superheroes
Robin Rosenberg

Chapter 2. Superhero comics as Moral Pornography
David Pizarro and Roy Baumeister

Chapter 3. Are Superhero Stories Good for Us?: Reflections from Clinical Practice
Lawrence Rubin

Chapter 4. Emotions in Comics: Why the Silver Age of comics made a difference
Peter Jordan

Chapter 5. The Effects of Superhero Sagas on Our Gendered Selves
Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz and Hillary Pennell

Part II: The Humanity of Superheroes

Chapter 6. Our Superheroes, Our Supervillains: Are They All That Different?
Travis Langley

Chapter 7. Are Superheroes Just Supergifted?
Robin Rosenberg and Ellen Winner

Chapter 8. The Very Real Work Lives of Superheroes: Illustrations of Work Psychology by Gary Burns

Chapter 9. How super are superheroes?
Robert Sternberg

Chapter 10. Superhero Justice
Mikhail Lyubansky

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2014

    BATMAN!!

    NANAANAAAananaaannaNannaaaaananBATMAN/vallo

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    Bearclaw? AKA Emma?

    Hey im here so anyone else here?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Blaze

    *flies in*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Aquaman

    Hello?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Agebt A

    Walks in hey hey super woman!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2014

    Wonder woman

    Calms down a little.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2014

    Flash

    Well we dont have a you and me book so just the freind book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    K

    K

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Slade

    Looks at superwoman

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews

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