Smile Or Die

How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World

Smile Or Die

A brilliant, savagely funny attack on the cult of positive thinking - Ehrenreich's most commercial book since Nickel and Dimed.

Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich (Summary)

Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich (Summary)

Do you want more free book summaries like this? Download our app for free at https://www.QuickRead.com/App and get access to hundreds of free book and audiobook summaries. Smile or Die (2009) explores the dark side of our cultural obsession with positive thinking. Although positive thinking is widely considered to be a good and helpful thing, Barbara Ehrenreich wants readers to be aware that being positive about everything all the time is not only unrealistic, it’s actively harmful. By exploring the impact of toxic positivity, Ehrenreich contemplates the mass delusion of the “power of positive thinking” movement and encourages her audience to take precautions for their health.

The Wellness Syndrome

The Wellness Syndrome

Not exercising as much as you should? Counting your caloriesin your sleep? Feeling ashamed for not being happier? You may be avictim of the wellness syndrome. In this ground-breaking new book, Carl Cederström andAndré Spicer argue that the ever-present pressure to maximizeour wellness has started to work against us, making us feel worseand provoking us to withdraw into ourselves. The Wellness Syndromefollows health freaks who go to extremes to find the perfect diet,corporate athletes who start the day with a dance party, and theself-trackers who monitor everything, including their own toilethabits. This is a world where feeling good has becomeindistinguishable from being good. Visions of social change havebeen reduced to dreams of individual transformation, politicaldebate has been replaced by insipid moralising, and scientificevidence has been traded for new-age delusions. A lively andhumorous diagnosis of the cult of wellness, this book is anindispensable guide for everyone suspicious of our relentless questto be happier and healthier.

Importing Faith

The Effect of American 'Word of Faith' Culture on Contemporary English Evangelical Revivalism

Importing Faith

Many twenty-first-century evangelical charismatics in Britain are looking for a faith that works. They want to experience the miraculous in terms of healings and Godsent financial provision. Many have left the mainstream churches to join independentcharismatic churches led by those who are perceived to have special insights and to teach principles that will help believers experience the miraculous. But all is not rosy in this promised paradise, and when people are not healed or they remain poor they are often told that it is because they did not have enough faith. This study discovers the origin of the principles that are taught by some charismatic leaders. Glyn Ackerley identifies them as the same ideas that are taught by the positive confession, health, wealth, and prosperity movement, originating in the United States. The origins of the ideas are traced back to New Thought metaphysics and its background philosophies of subjective idealism and pragmatism. These principles were imported into the UK through contact between British leaders and those influenced by American word of faith teachers. Glyn Ackerley explains the persuasiveness of such teachers by examining case studies, suggesting their miracles may well have socialand psychological explanations rather than divine origins.

Performance, Politics, and the War on Terror

'Whatever it Takes'

Performance, Politics, and the War on Terror

Using a performance studies lens, this book is a study of performance in the post-9/11 context of the so-called war on terror. It analyzes conventional theatre, political protest, performance art and other sites of performance to unpack the ways in which meaning has been made in the contemporary global sociopolitical environment.

Bright-sided

How Positive Thinking is Undermined America

Bright-sided

Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-sided is a sharp-witted knockdown of America's love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism Americans are a "positive" people—cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: this is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity. In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude. Evangelical mega-churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to "prosper" you. The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits. Academia has made room for new departments of "positive psychology" and the "science of happiness." Nowhere, though, has bright-siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes—like mortgage defaults—contributed directly to the current economic crisis. With the mythbusting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America's penchant for positive thinking: On a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out "negative" thoughts. On a national level, it's brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best—poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.

Reading and the Reader

The Literary Agenda

Reading and the Reader

The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of 'the literary' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. Reading and the Reader offers a defence of reading serious literature, where reading offers a place for inner contemplation, emotion, imagination, and thought-experiment through the energising booster-rocket of literature. It is argued that literature creates a holding-ground in which a dense sense of experience is registered. Such a place is vital to human well-being in the following respects: in sustaining the ability to use and not just suffer one's experience; to be able to think one's thoughts, even those that are customarily unadmitted or felt as anomalous or unworthy; to find room for a realm of speculation in between religions and secularization, in between literature and life. Reading and the Reader, one of the first volumes in the Literary Agenda series, exists to defend the value of reading, to narrow the gaps between the way writers and readers think, to bring literary thinking into the ordinary thinking of the world - especially at a time when the arts and humanities are under some threat. Literature is useful in terms of deep human needs. It offers a form of time-travel - across ages, countries, different minds - that provides alternatives to any conventional worldview.

The Precariat

The New Dangerous Class

The Precariat

This book presents the Precariat – an emerging class, comprising the rapidly growing number of people facing lives of insecurity, moving in and out of jobs that give little meaning to their lives. Guy Standing argues that this class is producing instabilities in society. Although it would be wrong to characterise members of the Precariat as victims, many are frustrated and angry. The Precariat is dangerous because it is internally divided, leading to the villainisation of migrants and other vulnerable groups. Lacking agency, its members may be susceptible to the siren calls of political extremism. To prevent a 'politics of inferno', Guy Standing argues for a 'politics of paradise', in which redistribution and income security are reconfi gured in a new kind of Good Society, and in which the fears and aspirations of the Precariat are made central to a progressive strategy.

Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory and Organization Studies

Contemporary Currents

Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory and Organization Studies

Sociology and social theory has always been a major source of new perspectives for organization studies. Access to a series of authoritative accounts of theorists and research themes in sociology and social theory which have influenced developments in organization studies is essential for those wishing to deepen and extend their knowledge of the intersection of sociology and organization studies. This goal is achieved by drawing on a group of internationally renowned scholars committed in their own work to strengthening these links and asking them to provide critical accounts of particular theorists and research themes which have straddled this divide. This volume aims to strengthen ties between organization studies and contemporary sociological work at a time when there are increasing institutional barriers to such cooperation, potentially generating a myopia that constricts new developments. Used in conjunction with its companion volume, The Oxford Handbook of Sociology and Organization Studies: Classical foundations, the reader is provided with a comprehensive account of the productive and critical interaction between sociology and organization studies over many decades. Highly international in scope, theorists and themes are drawn from both the USA and Europe in equal measure. Similarly the authors of the chapters are drawn from both sides of the Atlantic. The result is a series of chapters on individuals and key research themes and debates which will provide faculty and post graduate researchers with appreciative, authoritative and critical accounts that can be drawn on to design courses or provided guided reading to the field