The Psychologization of Society
On the Unfolding of the Therapeutic in Norway
The Psychologization of Society explores the manner in which psychology has increasingly crept into everyday life, with nature reduced to a source of mental health, the belief in God motivated by health not salvation, sin and evil turned into psychiatric diagnosis and the market economy being primarily driven by psychology. Showing that Norway, like the United States and Great Britain, is currently subjected to a psychological worldview or "therapeutic ethos," Madsen examines an array of spheres such as media, law, religion, self-help literature and cosmetic surgery to shed light on the ways in which the therapeutic ethos, rather than simply "triumphing" over them, actually blends in with regional norms and values. A study of the psychological imprint on Western countries as a form of the global democratisation of psychologised self-care, this book explores the boundless struggle to be the "best version of yourself" in contemporary neoliberal culture. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, psychology and cultural and media studies with interests in therapeutic discourses and paradoxes of health.
Table of Contents
Series Editors’ Foreword
6. ‘Giving psychology away’
Ole Jacob Madsen is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is the author of The Therapeutic Turn: How Psychology Altered Western Culture and Optimizing the Self: Social Representations of Self-Help.