Self Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life

Paperback | September 15, 2007

byMicki McGee

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Why doesn't self-help help? Cultural critic Micki McGee puts forward this paradoxical question as she looks at a world where the market for self-improvement products--books, audiotapes, and extreme makeovers--is exploding, and there seems to be no end in sight. Rather than seeing narcissism atthe root of the self-help craze, as others have contended, McGee shows a nation relying on self-help culture for advice on how to cope in an increasingly volatile and competitive work world. Self-Help, Inc. reveals how makeover culture traps Americans in endless cycles of self-invention and overworkas they struggle to stay ahead of a rapidly restructuring economic order. A lucid and fascinating treatment of the modern obsession with work and self-improvement, this lively book will strike a chord with its acute diagnosis of the self-help trap and its sharp suggestions for how we can address thealienating conditions of modern work and family life.

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Why doesn't self-help help? Cultural critic Micki McGee puts forward this paradoxical question as she looks at a world where the market for self-improvement products--books, audiotapes, and extreme makeovers--is exploding, and there seems to be no end in sight. Rather than seeing narcissism atthe root of the self-help craze, as others ...

Micki McGee is a sociologist and cultural critic who has taught at New York University, Rutgers University, and The New School for Social Research. The recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Blue Mountain Center, she has recently joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropolo...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:308 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:September 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195337263

ISBN - 13:9780195337266

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"McGee has revealed the self-help industry as an obsessional treadmill far more than a path to a better life....Self-Help, Inc. offers a revealing look at the profound dissatisfactions that loiter beneath the topography of our consumer culture."--Stuart Ewen, author of PR!: A Social History ofSpin