B2 Book chapter

From culture to assemblages - An introduction

List of Authors: Suvi Salmenniemi, Harley Bergroth, Johanna Nurmi, Inna Perheentupa

Edition name or number: 1st Edition

Place: Lontoo

Publication year: 2019

Book title *: Assembling Therapeutics: Cultures, Politics and Materiality

ISBN: 978-0-815-37797-9

eISBN: 978-1-351-23339-2

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781351233392-1

URL: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351233392/chapters/10.4324/9781351233392-1


Therapeutic life management is a billion-dollar business worldwide, woven into the fabric of our daily lives through media culture, workplace activities, technology, healthcare and politics. Reality TV propagates self-improvement through countless makeover shows; schools and kindergartens offer training in emotion management; workers are encouraged to cope with structural stress factors with the help of mindfulness sessions and motivational seminars; and bookstore shelves groan under the weight of popular psychology books promising to unleash one’s inner potential and deliver happiness, love and harmony. Therapeutic discourses are also intertwined with processes of digitalisation, which are opening up new avenues for everyday therapeutic engagement through wearable, near-body computing and mobile health applications. The therapeutic, referring to psychological, spiritual and holistic discourses and practices that encourage cultivation, care and transformation of the self, is so ubiquitous in the codes and conduct of contemporary everyday lives that its normalising power often goes unnoticed. However, as a variant of a longstanding cultural-historical injunction to ‘know thyself’, it significantly shapes the everyday lifeworlds we inhabit.

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 11:04