Fool's Paradise

Fool's Paradise

The Unreal World of Pop Psychology

Book - 2005
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richness to our lives. His witty and astringent investigation of the world of pop psychology, in which he quotes liberally from the most popular sources of advice, is an essential social corrective as well as a vastly entertaining and stimulating book. Book jacket.
He traces the inspiration of the pop psychology movement to the utopianism of the 1960s and argues that it consistently misuses the rhetoric that grew out of the civil rights movement. Speaking as it does in the name of our right to happiness, pop psychology promises liberation from all that interferes with our power to create the selves we want. In so doing, Mr. Justman observes, pop psychology not only defies reality but corrodes the traditions and attachments that give depth and
and each has almost unimaginably radical implications.
Through the channels of the mass media, celebrity psychologists urge us to realize that society has robbed us of our authentic selves. That every moral standard or prohibition imposes on our "selfhoods." That what we have inherited from the past is false. That we ourselves are the only truth in a world of lies. That we must challenge "virtually everything." That we must "wipe the slate clean and start over." Each of these "principles," Mr. Justman notes, is a commonplace of pop psychology,
themselves.
The influence of pop psychology now extends from the preschool to the university, from the clinic to the church. Readers of self-help prescriptions are drawn into an incessant scrutiny of their own happiness, or lack of it. "The rhetoric of self-help-its promises, declarations of emergency, urgings and warnings, commands, prayers, assurances-summons one into an endless maze," Mr. Justman writes. Like a closed system, the self-help manuals virtually quote one another: the gurus feed upon
Where did pop psychology come from, and what are its promises-and delusions? How is it that we have elevated people like Phil McGraw, Theodore Rubin, Wayne Dyer, M. Scott Peck, Thomas Harris, John Gray, and many other self-help gurus to priestly status in American culture? In Fool's Paradise, the award-winning essayist Stewart Justman explores the unreal world of pop psychology and discovers its astounding contradictions.
Publisher: Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, 2005
ISBN: 1566636280 (hardcover : alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: 150.973 JUS
Characteristics: vii, 262 p. ; 23 cm

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