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Control and Consolation in American Culture and Politics
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Control and Consolation in American Culture and Politics
Rhetoric of Therapy

First Edition
  • Dana Cloud - Syracuse University, USA, University of Texas, Austin, USA

Volume: 1

January 1998 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
In this perceptive analysis, Dana Cloud traces the replacement of social and political activism by the pursuit of personal, psychological change. She identifies the new movement as the `rhetoric of therapy', where a persuasive cultural discourse that applies concepts such as coping and adapting replaces active attempts to reform flawed systems of social and political power. Cloud focuses on the therapeutic discourse that emerged after the Vietnam War and links its rise to specific political and economic interests.

Critical case studies identify the extent to which therapeutic discourses are persuasive, including: the rhetoric of `family values'; media coverage of `support groups' during the Gulf War; Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within; the film Thelma and Louise; and literature of the New Age Movement.

 
Introduction
On Therapy and the Therapeutic  
 
Perspectives on the Therapeutic
 
The Therapeutic History
Inventing and Disciplining the Modern Self  
 
Family Therapies
From the White House to the Hood  
 
The Support Group Nation
 
The Therapeutics of Feminism
From Self-Esteem to Suicide  
 
The New Age of Post-Marxism
 
Conclusion
Antidotes to the Therpeutic Hegemony  

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