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University of California Press
Saving the Modern Soul: Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of Self-Help / Edition 1

Saving the Modern Soul: Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of Self-Help / Edition 1

by Eva IllouzEva Illouz


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The language of psychology is all-pervasive in American culture—from The Sopranos to Oprah, from the abundance of self-help books to the private consulting room, and from the support group to the magazine advice column. Saving the Modern Soul examines the profound impact of therapeutic discourse on our lives and on our contemporary notions of identity. Eva Illouz plumbs today's particular cultural moment to understand how and why psychology has secured its place at the core of modern identity. She examines a wide range of sources to show how self-help culture has transformed contemporary emotional life and how therapy complicates individuals' lives even as it claims to dissect their emotional experiences and heal trauma.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520253735
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 03/04/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Eva Illouz is a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a member of the Center for the Study of Rationality. She is also the Academic Director of the Program in Cultural Studies. She is the author of Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (UC Press; honorable mention, Outstanding Contribution Award, American Sociological Association, 2000); The Culture of Capitalism (in hebrew); Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery: An Essay on Popular Culture (Best Book Award, American Sociological Association, 2005); and Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Cultural Sociology and the Therapeutic
Therapy as a New Emotional Style
Texts and Contexts
Cultural Critique and Psychology

2. Freud: ACultural Innovator
Psychoanalysis as a Charismatic Enterprise
The Social Organization of Freudian Charisma
Freud in America
The Freudian Cultural Matrix
The Romance of Psychology and Popular Culture

3. From Homo economicus to Homo communicans
Emotional Control in the Sociology of Organizations
The Power of Control and the Control of Power
Psychologists Enter the Market
ANew Emotional Style
Emotional Control
The Communicative Ethic as the Spirit of the Corporation
Emotional, Moral, and Professional Competence

4. The Tyranny of Intimacy
Intimacy: An Increasingly Cold Haven
Beyond Their Will? Psychologists and Marriage
What Feminism and Psychology Have in Common
Intimacy: ANew Emotional Imagination
Communicative Rationality in the Bedroom
Toward the Ideology of Pure Emotion
The Cooling of Passion

5. Triumphant Suffering
Why Therapy Triumphed
The Therapeutic Narrative of Selfhood
Performing the Self through Therapy
ANarrative in Action

6. ANew Emotional Stratification?
The Rise of Emotional Competence
Emotional Intelligence and Its Antecedents
The Global Therapeutic Habitus and the New Man
Intimacy as a Social Good

7. Conclusion: Institutional Pragmatism in the Study of Culture


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Eva Illouz is a great scholar, and her book has been hailed by many as an important contribution to the field of therapeutic discourse."—Feminist Review

"[An] important reference point for understanding the nexus between self and culture. . . . Deserving of a wide readership."—Theory & Psychology

Customer Reviews