• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In today's media-saturated world, identities are no longer built solely within the close-knit communities of family, neighborhood, school, and work. Today media are part of our world and therefore play an important role in the formulations of our identities or constructions of self. In a truly postmodern mode, Constructing the Self in a Mediated World not only brings together the usually segregated areas of interpersonal and mass communication but also incorporates works from scholars in sociology, psychology, and women's studies as well. Each essay examines our understanding of self in a different context of mediated culture within a specific framework of interpretive theories such as critical theory, social constructionist theory, and feminism. This volume provides insights into issues of self and identity in contemporary mediated ...

All Consuming Selves: Self-Help Literature and Women's Identities
All consuming selves: Self-help literature and women's identities

Sociological theory and philosophy seek programmatic methods for achieving “the good society;” self-help ideologies proffer ways of procuring good selves. In self-help books, readers are all cast as damaged merchandise, as potential insatiable consumers of new and presumably better identities, but also as redeemable from within. We can become who we truly are and achieve the good self, with training, practice, and techniques that self-help advisers teach us.

Within the self-help consumer marketplace, we are all consuming selves and we are all-consuming selves. In this chapter, I discuss how self-help books from the 1960s to the 1990s portray selfhood, how notions of mutable identities as well as discoverable “cores” are sold ...

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