272 pages | 3 B/W Illus.
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.
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
4. Therapeutic and Therapeia within Orthodox Christianity
5. Saving the Post-Soviet Soul: Religion as Therapy in the Narratives of Russian-speaking Migrant Women
6. Coaching for the Nation: A New ‘Moral and Ethical Assemblage’ for Israel’s Last Republican Generation
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
9. No Negative Vibes: Organisational Fun as a Practice of Social Control
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
12. Uncanny Experiences as Therapeutic Events
Kia Andell, Harley Bergroth & Marja-Liisa Honkasalo
Afterword: Life of Psy
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.