Cold Intimacies

Cold Intimacies : The Making of Emotional Capitalism

3.78 (176 ratings by Goodreads)
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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

  • Electronic book text | 144 pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Polity Press
  • United Kingdom
  • 0745658083
  • 9780745658087

About Eva Illouz

E. Illouz, Professor of Sociology, The Hebrew University of Jersalem
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Table of contents

Acknowledgments vi 1 The Rise of Homo Sentimentalis 1 Freud and the Clark lectures 5 A new emotional style 16 The communicative ethic as the spirit of the corporation 18 The roses and thorns of the modern family 24 Conclusion 36 2 Suffering, Emotional Fields, and Emotional Capital 40 Introduction 40 The self-realization narrative 43 Emotional fields, emotional habitus 62 The pragmatics of psychology 67 Conclusion 71 3 Romantic Webs 74 Romancing the Internet 75 Virtual meetings 76 Ontological self-presentation 79 Fantasy and disappointment 95 Conclusion: A new Machiavellian move 108 Notes 115 Index 130
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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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Rating details

176 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 26% (45)
4 39% (69)
3 24% (43)
2 10% (18)
1 1% (1)
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