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The Threat or Promise of Popular Therapy? A Feminist Reading of Narratives of 'the Good Couple'

Eldén, Sara LU (2011) In NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research 19(3). p.114-162
Abstract
Popular therapeutic culture—such as self-help books, TV programmes, and Internet resources—is growing rapidly and posing important questions for feminist research and politics. On the one hand, it can be seen as a challenge to the public sphere in terms of what can be shown and said and by whom, with the emancipatory potential of giving political credentials to the personal. On the other, it can be seen as exploiting, and thereby reproducing, stereotypes and inequalities, such as those related to gender. In this article, the discussion is advanced by the use of Swedish popular therapy for couples as a point of departure. It is argued that a cultural narrative of the “good couple” is constructed in self-help books and TV programmes on... (More)
Popular therapeutic culture—such as self-help books, TV programmes, and Internet resources—is growing rapidly and posing important questions for feminist research and politics. On the one hand, it can be seen as a challenge to the public sphere in terms of what can be shown and said and by whom, with the emancipatory potential of giving political credentials to the personal. On the other, it can be seen as exploiting, and thereby reproducing, stereotypes and inequalities, such as those related to gender. In this article, the discussion is advanced by the use of Swedish popular therapy for couples as a point of departure. It is argued that a cultural narrative of the “good couple” is constructed in self-help books and TV programmes on relationship issues, a narrative that seems to keep the unequal nature of this heterosexual institution from being challenged. However, in the individual narratives of consumers of this culture, apparent on web discussion boards, the cultural narrative of the “good couple” is being challenged, not least with reference to gender and gender inequality. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sociologi, sociology
in
NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
volume
19
issue
3
pages
114 - 162
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • Scopus:79960692385
ISSN
1502-394X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
746cdc5c-3e16-4ec6-acda-c9f60d074ae7 (old id 2065032)
date added to LUP
2011-09-01 10:45:23
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:49:54
@misc{746cdc5c-3e16-4ec6-acda-c9f60d074ae7,
  abstract     = {Popular therapeutic culture—such as self-help books, TV programmes, and Internet resources—is growing rapidly and posing important questions for feminist research and politics. On the one hand, it can be seen as a challenge to the public sphere in terms of what can be shown and said and by whom, with the emancipatory potential of giving political credentials to the personal. On the other, it can be seen as exploiting, and thereby reproducing, stereotypes and inequalities, such as those related to gender. In this article, the discussion is advanced by the use of Swedish popular therapy for couples as a point of departure. It is argued that a cultural narrative of the “good couple” is constructed in self-help books and TV programmes on relationship issues, a narrative that seems to keep the unequal nature of this heterosexual institution from being challenged. However, in the individual narratives of consumers of this culture, apparent on web discussion boards, the cultural narrative of the “good couple” is being challenged, not least with reference to gender and gender inequality.},
  author       = {Eldén, Sara},
  issn         = {1502-394X},
  keyword      = {sociologi,sociology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {114--162},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9617450)},
  series       = {NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research},
  title        = {The Threat or Promise of Popular Therapy? A Feminist Reading of Narratives of 'the Good Couple'},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2011},
}