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Therapeutic Culture : Triumph and Defeat - Jonathan B. Imber

Therapeutic Culture

Triumph and Defeat

Paperback Published: 1st July 2004
ISBN: 9780765805928
Number Of Pages: 314

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For nearly half a century, social scientists have made claims that there is a "therapeutic ethos" with extensive influence upon numerous aspects of American society. In Therapeutic Culture, twelve authors address the implications of this ethos and its effects on a wide range of social institutions, extending from the family to schools, and operating in religious behavior and within the legal system. Has there been, as the sociological theorist Philip Rieff argued in 1966, a "triumph of the therapeutic?" If so, in what kinds of institutions has it been most pervasive? At the same time, what aspects of modern culture has it replaced or defeated? Therapeutic Culture addresses these questions, and raises others.Part 1 of this volume examines the emergence of the idea of "authenticity" as it defines the manipulation of emotions and behavior both in the United States and Great Britain. Contributors include Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, Frank Furedi, Jonathan B. Imber, and Alan Woolfolk. Part 2 illustrates specific cases of the effects of therapeutic culture within institutions, including courts, schools, religious communities, and the "virtual community" of the Internet. Contributors include James L. Nolan, Jr., John Steadman Rice, Felicia Wu Song, and James Tucker. Part 3 extends the analyses of specific social institutions to the broader consequences that have resulted as a therapeutic ethos has taken root in contemporary life. Contributors include Digby Anderson, Ellen Herman, and James Davison Hunter. Part 4 is devoted to a previously unpublished essay by Philip Rieff whose significant influence can be seen in many of the contributions. Rieff revisits the highly controversial confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 and offers ample evidence of the therapeutic uses of politics as well as the political manipulations available within a therapeutic culture to provide a fitting conclusion.This volume establishes a benchmark for further theoretical reflection and empirical research on the nature of therapeutic culture. It will be of interest to sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and cultural studies specialists.Jonathan B. Imber is editor-in-chief of Society and Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics and professor of sociology at Wellesley College.

Introduction : one culture, after all
Liberation therapeutics : from moral renewal to consciousness-raisingp. 3
The silent ascendancy of therapeutic culture in Britainp. 19
American sexual morality before and after "that woman"p. 51
The dubious triumph of the therapeutic : the denial of characterp. 69
Therapeutic adjudication : the un-common law judge of America's drug courtp. 91
The therapeutic school : its origins, nature, and consequencesp. 111
Online communities in a therapeutic agep. 137
New age healers and the therapeutic culturep. 153
Spoiled for choicep. 173
Rules or realness : child adoption in a therapeutic culturep. 189
Virtue - on the cheapp. 215
Se offendendop. 241
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780765805928
ISBN-10: 0765805928
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 314
Published: 1st July 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.96 x 15.39  x 2.41
Weight (kg): 0.49