It is commonly assumed that capitalism has created an a-emotional world dominated by bureaucratic rationality; that economic behavior conflicts with intimate, authentic relationships; that the public and private spheres are irremediably opposed to each other; and that true love is opposed to calculation and self-interest. Eva Illouz rejects these conventional ideas and argues that the culture of capitalism has fostered an intensely emotional culture in the workplace, in the family, and in our own relationship to ourselves. She argues that economic relations have become deeply emotional, while close, intimate relationships have become increasingly defined by economic and political models of bargaining, exchange, and equity. This dual process by which emotional and economic relationships come to define and shape each other is called emotional capitalism. Illouz finds evidence of this process of emotional capitalism in various social sites: self-help literature, women's magazines, talk shows, support groups, and the Internet dating sites. How did this happen? What are the social consequences of the current preoccupation with emotions? How did the public sphere become saturated with the exposure of private life? Why does suffering occupy a central place in contemporary identity? How has emotional capitalism transformed our romantic choices and experiences? Building on and revising the intellectual legacy of critical theory, this book addresses these questions and offers a new interpretation of the reasons why the public and the private, the economic and the emotional spheres have become inextricably intertwined.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Cold Intimacies" by Eva Illouz introduces a highly original, profound and provocative theory about how emotional and economic forces have found common interest in creating what she calls "emotional capitalism." The book is composed of three lectures that Ms. Illouz prepared for a series of presentations made at the Adorno Lectures in Frankfurt, Germany. The author's scholarly credentials are evident both in how she creates a very compelling argument and in her selective use of supporting documents; although somewhat densely written, the book's progression rewards the patient and studious reader with a number of invaluable insights and discoveries about contemporary society.
The first lecture recounts the history behind the rise of 'homo sentimentalis'. Ms. Illouz contends that the emotional style of the 20th century was shaped by the wide dissemination of Freudian theory in popular literature and the scientific management and human relations disciplines of Fordist America...
This is essentially Arlie Hochschild translated via Bourdieu and Foucault, without citing Hochschild.
Read: The Managed Heart The Second Shift The Commercialization of Care
Do NOT read this.
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