The West has never been more affluent yet the use of anti-depressants is on the increase to the extent that the World Health Organisation has declared it a major source of concern. How has this state of affairs come about and what can be done? Television and advertising media seem to know. Wherever we look they offer countless remedies for our current situation - unfortunately none of them seem to work.
The Happiness Illusion explores how the metaphorical insights of fairy-tales have been literalised and turned into commodities. In so doing, their ability to educate and entertain has largely been lost. Instead advertising and television sell us products that offer to magically transform the way we look, how we age, where we live –both in the city and the countryside, the possibility of new jobs, and so forth. All of these are supposed to make us happy. But despite the allure of ‘retail therapy’ modern magic has lost its spell.
What then are the sources of happiness in our contemporary society? Through a series of fairy-tales The Happiness Illusion: How the media sold us a fairytale looks at topics such as age, gender, marriage and rom-coms, Nordic Noir and the representations of therapy on television. In doing so it explores alternative ways to relate to the world in a symbolic and less literal manner – it suggests that happiness comes by making sure we don’t fall under the spell of the illusionary promises of contemporary television and advertising. Instead, happiness comes from being ourselves – warts and all. This book will be of interest to Jungian academics, film, media and cultural studies academics, social psychologists and their students, as well as reaching out to those interested in fairy-tale studies, psychotherapists and educated cinema goers.
Luke Hockley PhD, is Research Professor of Media Analysis, at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. He is a practicing psychotherapist and is registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Luke is joint Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Jungian Studies (IJJS) and a member of the Advisory Board for the journal Spring and lectures widely. www.lukehockley.com
Nadi Fadina is a media entrepreneur and a managing partner in an international film fund. She is involved in a variety of arts and media related projects, both in profit and non-profit spheres. She teaches Film Business in the University of Bedfordshire, however, her academic interests outreach spheres of business and cover ideology, Russian fairytales, sexuality, politics, anthropology, and cinema. www. nadi-fadina.com
"This book will cure you of feeling entitled to happiness so you can enjoy the pleasure of seeking out a life journey of your own making." - Maryann Barone-Chapman, Jungian Analyst and former Advertising CEO and Creative Director
"Luke Hockley and Nadi Fadina's The Happiness Illusion: How Media Sold Us a Fairytale frames this anthology of analytical psychology as an exploration of how contemporary media pervert the metaphorical insights of fairytales to sell viewers entrancing representations of endlses yet not quite fulfilling consumption… I would use a number of the chapters in this book in undergraduate film and television studies courses." -Dr Daniel Keyes, University of British Columbia, PsycCritiques
"I would recommend the book to academics and students in media studies. Those with a background in psychotherapy may also find it of interest. Overall, this is a very thought-provoking book, but perhaps not for those expecting a bit of a light read!" - Dr Kate Sparks, Chartered Psychologist, The Psychologist
Introduction - Once upon a time … Nadi Fadina and Luke Hockley
Section One - There was a Prince/ss …
Vignette by Nadi Fadina and Luke Hockley
1 Transnational fantasies of masculinity
2 Snow White and the Huntsman: the fairytale of gender and the female warrior
3 The second loss of androgyny: the fairytale of dualism.
Section Two - The Quest, The Old Wise Helper and the Magical Object…
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4 Crumbling rejuvenation: archetype, embodiment and the ‘Aging Beauty Myth’
5 Finding the golden egg: illusions of happiness in an age of consumer capitalism
6 The self-knowledge industry and myths of happiness
7 The shadow of redemption: the Grail and the self-knowledge industry
Section Three - May All Your Wishes Come True …
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8 Engaging marriage: rom coms and fairytale endings
9 The myth of authentic self-actualisation: happiness, transformation and reality TV
10 A difficult task: Sarah Lund and the crime of individuated happiness