The Oprah Phenomenon

The Oprah Phenomenon

by Jennifer Harris
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813124263

ISBN-13: 9780813124261

Pub. Date: 03/28/2007

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

With a Foreword by Robert J. Thompson Her image is iconic: Oprah Winfrey has built an empire on her ability to connect with and inspire her audience. No longer just a name, "Oprah" has become a brand representing the talk show host's unique style of self-actualizing individualism. The cultural and economic power wielded by Winfrey merits critical evaluation.

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Overview

With a Foreword by Robert J. Thompson Her image is iconic: Oprah Winfrey has built an empire on her ability to connect with and inspire her audience. No longer just a name, "Oprah" has become a brand representing the talk show host's unique style of self-actualizing individualism. The cultural and economic power wielded by Winfrey merits critical evaluation. The contributors to The Oprah Phenomenon examine the origins of her public image and its substantial influence on politics, entertainment, and popular opinion. Contributors address praise from her many supporters and weigh criticisms from her detractors. Winfrey's ability to create a feeling of intimacy with her audience has long been cited as one of the foundations of her popularity. She has repeatedly made national headlines by engaging and informing her audience with respect to her personal relationships to race, gender, feminism, and New Age culture. The Oprah Phenomenon explores these relationships in detail. At the root of Winfrey's message to her vast audience is her assertion that anyone can be a success regardless of background or upbringing. The contributors scrutinize this message: What does this success entail? Is the motivation behind self-actualization, in fact, merely the hope of replicating Winfrey's purchasing power? Is it just a prescription to buy the products she recommends and heed the advice of people she admires, or is it a lifestyle change of meaningful spiritual benefit? The Oprah Phenomenon asks these and many other difficult questions to promote a greater understanding of Winfrey's influence on the American consciousness.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813124261
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
03/28/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents


Foreword     vii
Introduction: Oprah Winfrey as Subject and Spectacle   Jennifer Harris   Elwood Watson     1
Oprah Winfrey and Race
The Specter of Oprah Winfrey: Critical Black Female Spectatorship   Tarshia L. Stanley     35
My Mom and Oprah Winfrey: Her Appeal to White Women   Linda Kay     51
The "Oprahization" of America: The Man Show and the Redefinition of Black Femininity   Valerie Palmer-Mehta     65
Oprah Winfrey on the Stage
Oprah Winfrey and Women's Autobiography: A Televisual Performance of the Therapeutic Self   Eva Illouz   Nik John     87
From Fasting toward Self-Acceptance: Oprah Winfrey and Weight Loss in American Culture   Ella Howard     101
Spiritual Talk: The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Popularization of the New Age   Maria McGrath     125
Oprah Winfrey and Spirituality   Denise Martin     147
Phenomenon on Trial: Reading Rhetoric at Texas Beef v. Oprah Winfrey   Jennifer Richardson     165
Oprah Winfrey on the Page
Oprah's Book Club and the American Dream   Malin Pereira     191
Some Lessons before Dying: Gender, Morality, and the Missing Critical Discourse in Oprah's Book Club   Roberta F. Hammett   Audrey Dentith     207
Making Corrections to Oprah's Book Club: Reclaiming Literary Power for Gendered Literacy Management   Sarah Robbins     227
Knowing for Sure: Epistemologies of the Autonomous Self in O, the Oprah Magazine   Marjorie Jolles     259
Oprah Winfrey's Branding of Personal Empowerment   Damiana Gibbons     277
List of Contributors     293
Index     297

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