The Psychologization of Society: On the Unfolding of the Therapeutic in Norway, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Psychologization of Society

On the Unfolding of the Therapeutic in Norway, 1st Edition

By Ole Jacob Madsen


166 pages

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Paperback: 9780367897284
pub: 2020-01-17
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 17th January 2020
Hardback: 9780815360421
pub: 2018-07-26
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351118347
pub: 2018-06-27
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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


1. Introduction

2. Media

3. Law

4. Religion

5. Self-help

6. ‘Giving psychology away’

7. Psychologisation

8. Conclusion


About the Author

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.

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General