Cold Intimacies

Cold Intimacies : The Making of Emotional Capitalism

3.77 (215 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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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Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 150 x 224 x 15mm | 322g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745639046
  • 9780745639048

Back cover copy

It is commonly assumed that capitalism has created an a-emotionalworld dominated by bureaucratic rationality; that economic behaviorconflicts with intimate, authentic relationships; that the publicand private spheres are irremediably opposed to each other; andthat true love is opposed to calculation and self-interest.
Eva Illouz rejects these conventional ideas and argues that theculture of capitalism has fostered an intensely emotional culturein the workplace, in the family, and in our own relationship toourselves. She argues that economic relations have become deeplyemotional, while close, intimate relationships have becomeincreasingly defined by economic and political models ofbargaining, exchange, and equity. This dual process by whichemotional and economic relationships come to define and shape eachother is called emotional capitalism. Illouz finds evidence of thisprocess of emotional capitalism in various social sites: self-helpliterature, women's magazines, talk shows, support groups, and theInternet dating sites. How did this happen? What are the socialconsequences of the current preoccupation with emotions? How didthe public sphere become saturated with the exposure of privatelife? Why does suffering occupy a central place in contemporaryidentity? How has emotional capitalism transformed our romanticchoices and experiences? Building on and revising the intellectuallegacy of critical theory, this book addresses these questions andoffers a new interpretation of the reasons why the public and theprivate, the economic and the emotional spheres have becomeinextricably intertwined.
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Table of contents

* Contents * Chapter 1: The Rise of Homo Sentimentalis * Chapter 2: Suffering, Emotional Fields and Emotional Capital * Chapter 3: Romantic Webs
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Review quote

"Well written, conceptually rich, and a welcome addition to the critical literature on emotion. It stands in juxtaposition to the dominant psychological models of emotion that have been unreflectively and uncritically reproduced, especially in organizational behaviour texts." British Journal of Sociology "Illuminates the contemporary expansion of therapeutic models of self and relationships into all aspects of life." Meghan Falvey, Modern Painters "Once again, Eva Illouz demonstrates that she is a true heir to the rich intellectual tradition of the Frankfurt School. Taking on the exploration of the important territory where public culture and private consciousness connect, Illouz brilliantly develops the concepts of emotional capital and emotional competence. This elegantly concise book will take its place alongside -- and engage in provocative conversation with -- the work of Bourdieu, Foucault, and Giddens." Larry Gross, University of Southern California "In a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history, Eva Illouz traces the entry of intimate emotions into what many thinkers have interpreted as the desiccating, rationalizing discourse and practice of capitalism. She opens our eyes to the large impact of therapeutic and feminist viewpoints on prevailing interpretations of economic life." Viviana A. Zelizer, Princeton University
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About Eva Illouz

E. Illouz, Professor of Sociology, The Hebrew University of Jersalem
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Rating details

215 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 25% (53)
4 40% (86)
3 25% (54)
2 9% (19)
1 1% (3)
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