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Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life.

SELF-HELP, INC.: MAKEOVER CULTURE IN AMERICAN LIFE Micki McGee Oxford University Press, 2005

From Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey to simple abundance and gratitude journals, it is impossible to ignore the proliferation of self-help materials available today.

However, despite a twofold increase in the last quarter century, quantity does not necessarily guarantee quality. According to cultural critic and sociologist Micki McGee, these materials have not always served us as we believe they should. Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life is her assessment of this phenomenon.

Unfortunately, this new makeover ethos has fostered an insecure society struggling to contend with dramatic economic and social changes. McGee states: "The less predictable and controllable the life course has become, the more individuals have been urged to chart their own courses, to 'master' their destinies, and to make themselves over."

The endless struggle to meet unrealistic challenges belabours us, and Self-Help, Inc. acknowledges this. In some cases, self-help tools even disparage their audience, concentrating on their inadequacies as they offer putative solutions.

For those interested in a scholarly approach to the philosophical underpinnings of an important topic, Self-Help, Inc. is a sensible resource.

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Author:Stevenson, R.J.
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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