Re: sexual ethics

What a great project...!!!!

It just so happens that I spent one year researching these same sorts of
questions for my MA thesis, which in the end, very broadly speaking,
demonstrated that popular psychology (ie self-help) can be conceived as a
contemporary project of moral regulation which incites a governance of the
self by the self which is intrinsicially linked with the governmental
rationalities and technologies of power in advanced liberal societies. I
examined three "types" of self-help texts (psycho-spiritual, codependency
and the generic) and argued that self-reformation and the rapport a soi
assumes different forms depending on the particular genre. Anyways, I
could go on and on, but if you're interested in the thesis, or the biblio
(which might save you a lot time), just let me know.

I think Nick Rose's work is key, as is Mitchell Dean's. In addition to
Rose's _Inventing Ourselves_ you might also want to look at:

Rose, N. (1995) "Authority and the Genealogy of Subjectivity" in P.
Heelas, S. Lash and P. Morris (eds) _Detraditionalization_

Rose, N. (1990) _Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self_

Other texts which might be useful:

hacking, Ian (1986) "Making Up people" in T. Heller, M. Sosna and D.
Wellbery (eds) _Reconstructing Individualism_

kaminer, wendy _I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery
Movement and Other Self-help fashions_

Lasch, C. (1984) _The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times_

Poster, Mark (1993) "Focuault and the Problem of Self-Constitution" in J.
Caputo and M. Yount (eds) _Foucault and the Critique of Institutions_

Rieff, david (1966) _The Triumph of the Therapeutic_

Simonds, Wendy (1992) _Women and Self-help Culture: Reading Between the

Valverde, Mariana (1996) "'Despotism' and Ethical Liberal Governance" in
_Economy and Society_ 9:1

I found Foucault's discussions on the subject and power quite helpful (In
_Michel Foucault: beyond S and H_).

For what its worth, I also have a piece forthcoming in _Cultural Studies_
entitled "Governing Citizens Through Self-Help Literature."

I hope some of this helps.


Partial thread listing: