Daniel  Nehring Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Daniel Nehring

Associate Professor of Sociology
East China University of Science and Technology

My research concerns the personal consequences of globalisation and the rapid mobilisation of social life. In this context, I have taken a particular interest in the transnational diffusion of psychotherapeutic discourses and practices, and in their incorporation into a range of institutional regimes. I am a convenor of the international academic network ‘Popular Psychology, Self-Help Culture and The Happiness Industry’, and I edit the book series Therapeutic Cultures for Routledge.


I am currently Associate Professor of Sociology at East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai. Previously, I have held academic appointments in the United Kingdom, the USA, Argentina, and South Korea. Much in keeping with the widely international trajectory of my career, I am interested in the ways in which globalisation and accelerated social change transform self-identities and social relationships. In this context, much of my recent research has focused on the psychologisation of society, that is to say the pervasive use of psychotherapeutic narratives to make sense of who we are, how we relate to others, and how we address social problems. I have published widely in this area, including publications in journals such as Sociology of Health and Illness and Consumption Markets & Culture. Recent books include Transnational Popular Psychology and the Global Self-Help Industry (Palgrave, 2016), Therapeutic Worlds (Routledge, 2019), and The Routledge International Handbook of Global Therapeutic Cultures (2020). Together with a team of colleagues in Europe, I convene the multidisciplinary and international academic network Popular Psychology, Self-Help Culture and The Happiness Industry, and I edit the Routledge book series Therapeutic Cultures.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    My primary areas of expertise include the sociology of culture, transnationalism, the sociology of health and illness, and qualitative and narrative research.

Personal Interests

    As my academic biography might suggest, I very much enjoy travelling. Apart from this, I like to read history books, go to the opera, and play badminton. I am also very much interested in ancient numismatics.



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Therapeutic Worlds - Nehring - 1st Edition book cover


Sociology of Health and Illness

Mindfulness and the ‘psychological imagination’

Published: Apr 16, 2020 by Sociology of Health and Illness
Authors: Daniel Nehring and Ashley Frawley
Subjects: Sociology, Social Psychology

We analyse the rise of ‘mindfulness’ in English language media discourses and contextualise it in terms of its expression of a persistent underlying ‘psychological imagination’ in contemporary thinking about social problems. An inversion of C. Wright Mills’ much‐cited sociological imagination, the psychological imagination draws on medical‐scientific authority to treat social problems as private concerns rooted in individual biology, mentality and behaviour.