The Self on the Shelf: Recovery Books and the Good Life

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SUNY Press, 1994 - Psychology - 287 pages
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The Self on the Shelf examines the cultural and philosophical determinants of popular "recovery" books. Greenberg argues that this literature can be read as documents of the prevailing understanding of the self in American society. The construction of the self promoted by recovery literature is seen as a nihilistic one insofar as it denies the significance of what continental philosophy calls the Other. In this sense the self-help books are correct in their assertion that we have lost sight of how to love, but their proposed solution shows up as a recapitulation and strengthening of the conditions that gave rise to this situation in the first place. Greenberg's critique provides a commentary on the difficulties that face our culture in achieving any sense of meaningful community, and on the way that this problem surfaces in a highly popular discourse.
 

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Contents

Codependence in Context
11
The Cats Grin
37
The Contours of the Codependence Genre
67
The Codependence Literature as a Moral Discourse
99
The Readers Colloquy with Herself
117
The Sole Author in the Social World
147
See Your Passport Please?
154
The TwelveStep Group as
164
Summary and Conclusion
180
The Codependence Literature as an Instance of Nihilism
187
A Reconstitution of Codependence
233
Appendix A
257
Notes
263
Bibliography
269
Index
279
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About the author (1994)

Gary Greenberg is a psychotherapist in private practice.

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