Saving the Modern Soul
Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of Self-Help
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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.
Praise For Saving the Modern Soul: Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of Self-Help…
“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
University of California Press, 9780520253735, 304pp.
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
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.