Propaganda in the Helping Professions

Propaganda in the Helping Professions

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Propaganda in the helping professions has grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades, with alarming implications for clients and their families, as well as the professionals who try to help them. There is a fog that has been generated by corporate interests and organizations attempting to sell their services and products to desperate or poorly educated consumers. Propaganda in the Helping Professions is a guide to lifting the confusion. From phrenology to institutional crib-beds for adult psychiatric patients, from Roman bird-beak masks to drugs designed to combat overurination, readers are taken on a tour across the centuries of egregious practices of professionals and quacks including the present-day medicalization of our lives. The author, one of the field's most relentless critics of fads, phonies, and fallacies, shows readers how to think critically about both research and advertising in order to deliver effective services to clients and not be bamboozled by bogus claims about alleged problems, risks, and remedies. Incisive, interesting, eminently readable, and passionately argued, this book places responsibility for client well-being both on consumers-to raise questions-and on the professionals who claim to help them-to accurately answer them.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 584 pages
  • 162.56 x 238.76 x 45.72mm | 816.46g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 10 line-cuts and 31 half-tones
  • 0195325001
  • 9780195325003
  • 943,727

Review quote

"I know of no other work that so masterfully reviews propaganda and deceptive scholarship in all its guises and illustrates how it characterizes so much of what passes as 'help, ' 'therapy, ' or 'science' in the helping professions. In addition, the final chapters expand the analysis into a magnificent primer on identifying deception and doublespeak in the literature. As commercial and ideological conflicts of interest in the helping enterprise have largely blurred the boundary between science and marketing, this book should be required reading for all helpers and would-be helpers, their clients, and those who aspire to be critical thinkers." -- David Cohen, PhD, Florida International University "I would have to describe Eileen Gambrill as 'the Rachel Carson of health and public policy.' This is a wonderful book, written with an engaging literary style from a liberal perspective, but as hardnosed as can be when dealing with questions of evidence, on the tendency of vested interests to distract us for their own essentially undemocratic ends. The book is testimony to the fact that soft-heartedness about the human condition need not imply soft-headedness when making evidence-influenced plans to try to assist." -- Brian Sheldon, PhD, University of Exeter "I can think of no greater accolade than to state how much this book stirred me to think, and of how much I learned from reading it. This is a brilliant book. Every practitioner in the human services and, more importantly, every literate client, should read it. It provides an effective antidote to the pervasive propaganda to be found relating to the causes of psychosocial and biologically based disorders, their assessment, and treatment. A wonderful addition to the literature on scientific skepticism." -- Bruce A. Thyer, PhD, Florida State University"Propaganda in the Helping Professions is a book that needed to be written and that should be mandatory reading for all consumers. We are drowning in claims and misinformation--from politicians, the media, and religious and business leaders. If ever there was time when we needed a lifesaver of truth in this stormy sea of lies, it is now. Eileen Gambrill has done her part to rectify this sad situation." -- Donald G. Dutton, PsycCRITIQUESshow more

About Eileen D. Gambrill

Eileen Gambrill, PhD, is Hutto Patterson Professor of Child and Family Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.show more

Table of contents

Part 1. Introduction ; 1. Propaganda in the Helping Professions: What is it and Why Should You Care? ; Part 2. Context, Actors, and Scripts ; 2. Introduction to the Players ; 3. Interactions among the Players ; 4. Propaganda Analysis: Different Levels ; Part 3. Consequences of Propaganda ; 5. A Rogue's Gallery of Harms Related to Propaganda in the Helping Professions ; 6. The Medicalization of Life ; Part 4. How They Reel Us In ; 7. Obscure Different Views of Knowledge and How to Get It ; 8. Appeal to Popular Grand Narratives and Metaphors ; 9. Disguise Advertisements as Professional Literature ; 10. Propagandistic Use of Language and Social Psychological Persuasion Strategies ; 11. Appeal to Our Psychological Vulnerabilities ; Part 5. What You Can Do ; 12. Enhance Your Argument Analysis Skills ; 13. Increase Your Skill in Spotting Fallacies ; 14. Increase Your Skill in Searching for Answers for Yourself ; Notes ; References ; Indexshow more

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