Have you looked at Christopher Lasch's Culture of Narcissism? Even if
it isn't authoritative (either from a Marxist or Freudian standpoint),
strictly historical, or Foucauldian (although Lasch, I hear, was for a
time quite interested in F.) it's a funny and pithy slash through the
"self-help" mentality. But if you read it, also catch Richard
Hofstadter's chapter in The American Political Tradition on the
Self-Help Ideology of Abraham Lincoln. Liberation, you say? I assume
you are familiar with N.O. Brown and Marcuse--neither of whom, in my
book, employed the term as loosely as one must to call those overpriced
rags "liberating." Happy hunting!
>From owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Thu Feb 18 09:44:18 1999
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> for foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; Thu, 18 Feb 1999 16:55:29
>From: "Rebecca Luckhurst" <rebecca@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: sexual ethics
>Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 16:53:10 -0000
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>Okay, okay! I'll post something!
>I wonder if anyone out there can recommend some reading for me. I'm =
>based in the UK reading for a PhD, and I'm looking at Foucault's work
>sexual ethics. I shall be using it to look at present day 'self-help'
>texts (eg Men are From Mars etc) I want to see what kind of ethics =
>these books promote, and what kind of subject they are aiming to =
>produce. I want to try to avoid a simplistic dismissal of them as
>either purely subjugating discourses or symptomatic of the 'Californian
>cult of the self' about which Foucault was so sniffy. I also want to =
>avoid an uncritical celebration of their liberatory potential, as =
>proposed by some other scholars - I shall mention no names!!
>It seems to me that these texts must tell us something our culture =
>because they are so popular and sell in such huge numbers - and here in
>the UK they have, in many instances, entered into common parlance (I =
>expect it's the same elsewhere).
>Can anyone suggest either:
> a.. any specific sections of Foucault's work I should look at =
>(besides the History of Sex trilogy), or
> b.. any particularly interesting/popular self-help books
>those about relationships), or
> c.. the work of any other theorists/scholars which might be =
>I would really appreciate any suggerstions, advice or comments.
>Thanks for helping.
>From: anand-bhatt <anand.bhatt@xxxxxxxx>
>To: 'foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx' =
>Date: 18 February 1999 09:50
>Subject: RE: ???
>>The list is in sleepy time they tell me and it will liven up once =
>somebody posts something. So post something.
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