Based on a reading of more than three hundred self-help books, Sandra K. Dolby examines this remarkably popular genre to define "self-help" in a way that's compelling to academics and lay readers alike. Self-Help Books also offers an interpretation of why these books are so popular, arguing that they continue the well-established American penchant for self-education, articulate problems of daily life and supposed solutions for them, and present their content in an accessible rather than arcane form and style. Using methods associated with folklore studies, Dolby then examines how the genre makes use of stories, aphorisms, and a worldview that is at once traditional and contemporary. The overarching premise of the study is that self-help books, much like fairy tales, take traditional materials, especially stories and ideas, and recast them into extended essays that people happily read, think about, try to apply, and then set aside when a new embodiment of the genre comes along.
Contains over 500 articles Ranging over foodways and folksongs, quiltmaking and computer lore, Pecos Bill, Butch Cassidy, and Elvis sightings, more than 500 articles spotlight folk literature, music, and crafts; sports and holidays; tall tales and legendary figures; genres and forms; scholarly approaches and theories; regions and ethnic groups; performers and collectors; writers and scholars; religious beliefs and practices. The alphabetically arranged entries vary from concise definitions to detailed surveys, each accompanied by a brief, up-to-date bibliography. Special features *More than 2000 contributors *Over 500 articles spotlight folk literature, music, crafts, and more *Alphabetically arranged *Entries accompanied by up-to-date bibliographies *Edited by America's best-known folklore authority
A critique of the self-help movement assesses the pervasive damage that it has done to every aspect of American society, explaining how the notion of victimization has blurred the concept of personal responsibility and right and wrong, and how the idea of empowerment teaches that the belief that we can do something is more important than developing the skills to accomplish the task. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
"Oracle carefully explores the dangers and benefits of diet and exercise books, sex manuals, and self-actualization schemes. It is a timely and fascinating work, and will be of great interest to health-care providers and thoughtful consumers." --Joseph D. Matarazzo,American Psychological Association
The first book to investigate Jane Austen's popular significance today, Everybody's Jane considers why Austen matters to amateur readers, how they make use of her novels, what they gain from visiting places associated with her, and why they create works of fiction and nonfiction inspired by her novels and life.The voices of everyday readers emerge from both published and unpublished sources, including interviews conducted with literary tourists and archival research into the founding of the Jane Austen Society of North America and the exceptional Austen collection of Alberta Hirshheimer Burke of Baltimore.Additional topics include new Austen portraits; portrayals of Austen, and of Austen fans, in film and fiction; and hybrid works that infuse Austen's writings with horror, erotica, or explicit Christianity.Everybody's Jane will appeal to all those who care about Austen and will change how we think about the importance of literature and reading today.
Why doesn't self-help help? Millions of people turn to self-improvement when they find that their lives aren't working out quite as they had imagined. The market for self-improvement products - books, audiotapes, life-makeover seminars and regimens of all kinds - is exploding, and there seems to be no end in sight for this trend. In "Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life", cultural critic Micki McGee asks what our seemingly insatiable demand for self-help can tell us about ourselves at the outset of this new century. The answers are surprising. Rather than finding an America that is narcissistic or self-involved, as others have contended, McGee sees a nation relying on self-help...
"Interpretive Interactionism argues strongly for a new approach to qualitative research methods. Writing primarily for established practitioners and advanced graduate students, Denzin seeks to fuse influences of symbolic interactionist, hermeneutical, feminist, post-modern, and critical-biographical thought into his personal approach to research, which he calls interpretive interactionism. This work cleaves to the forefront of the field through its unapologetic advocacy of the subjective, its emphasis on the biographical, and its appeal for experimentation in new writing conventions. Readers who want acquaintance with current thinking in the field will find it well synthesized in this volume. This is one of the simplest and clearest presentations of his work Denzin has offered in years." CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY