Assembling Therapeutics: Cultures, Politics and Materiality, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Assembling Therapeutics

Cultures, Politics and Materiality, 1st Edition

Edited by Suvi Salmenniemi, Johanna Nurmi, Inna Perheentupa, Harley Bergroth


228 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

Book Content Available Open Access*
Read Book - Open Access

*Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780815377979
pub: 2019-09-04
SAVE ~$28.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

This volume examines the ways in which people engage with therapeutic practices, such as life coaching, mindfulness, complementary and alternative medicine, sex and relationship counselling, spiritual healing and self-tracking. It investigates how human and non-human actors, systems of thought and practice are assembled and interwoven in therapeutic engagements, and traces the situated, material and political dimensions of these engagements. By focusing on lived experiences through ethnographically informed case studies, the book elucidates the diverse forms, meanings and embodied effects of therapeutic engagements in different settings, as well as their potential for both oppressive and subversive social change. In this way, Assembling Therapeutics contributes to our understanding of multiple modes of healing, self-knowledge and power in contemporary societies.

Table of Contents

1. From Culture to Assemblages: An Introduction

Suvi Salmenniemi, Harley Bergroth, Johanna Nurmi & Inna Perheentupa

2. Assembling Mindful Bodies: Mindfulness as a Universal ‘Laboratory of Practice’

Steven Stanley & Ilmari Kortelainen

3. Affective Assemblages: Atmospheres and Therapeutic Knowledge Production in/through the Researcher-body

Marjo Kolehmainen

4. Therapeutic and Therapeia within Orthodox Christianity

Tatiana Tiaynen-Qadir

5. Saving the Post-Soviet Soul: Religion as Therapy in the Narratives of Russian-speaking Migrant Women

Julia Lerner

6. Coaching for the Nation: A New ‘Moral and Ethical Assemblage’ for Israel’s Last Republican Generation

Ariel Yankellevic

7. The Datafication of Therapeutic Life Management: Assembling the Self in Control Society

Harley Bergroth & Ilpo Helén

8. The Lure of Self-disclosure: App-assisted Quantification of Mood as Therapeutic Companionship

Felix Freigang

9. No Negative Vibes: Organisational Fun as a Practice of Social Control

Virve Peteri

10. ‘Living on a Razor Blade’: Work and Alienation in the Narratives of Therapeutic Engagements

Suvi Salmenniemi, Johanna Nurmi & Joni Jaakola

11. Feminists Performing the Collective Trauma in Contemporary Russia

Inna Perheentupa

12. Uncanny Experiences as Therapeutic Events

Kia Andell, Harley Bergroth & Marja-Liisa Honkasalo

Afterword: Life of Psy

Elaine Swan

About the Editors

Suvi Salmenniemi is Professor of Sociology at the University of Turku, Finland.

Johanna Nurmi is a postdoctoral researcher in Sociology at the University of Turku, Finland.

Inna Perheentupa is currently finalising her doctoral dissertation in Sociology at the University of Turku, Finland.

Harley Bergroth is currently finalising his doctoral dissertation in Sociology at the University of Turku, Finland.

About the Series

Therapeutic Cultures

This interdisciplinary series explores the role which therapeutic discourses and practices play in the organisation of social life, critically addressing the two broad questions of how therapeutic knowledge is popularised beyond academia and mental health care, and how it participates in popular culture, and in institutional structures and processes in government, law, education, media, health, work, family life, public and private policies. Therapeutic Cultures seeks to address the histories of therapeutic culture and engage with its contemporary manifestations, so welcomes books that examine the transnationalisation of therapeutic discourses and practices and their uses in local institutional settings, as well as studies of the ways in which therapeutic discourses and practices participate in the social organisation of power, and how they become ingrained across a wide array of institutions.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HEALTH & FITNESS / Alternative Therapies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General