BiographyI 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.
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.
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.