The Talking Cure in Everyday Life: Gender, Generations and Friendship
AuthorMcLeod, J; Wright, K
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
AffiliationMelbourne Graduate School of Education
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMcLeod, J. & Wright, K. (2009). The Talking Cure in Everyday Life: Gender, Generations and Friendship. SOCIOLOGY-THE JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, 43 (1), pp.122-139. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038508099101.
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This article examines the insinuation of therapeutic culture into everyday life from the vantage point of a qualitative cross-generational study of economically marginalized young women and their mothers. Against dominant assessments of therapeutic culture — as representing cultural decline, social regulation or transformation — we draw on interview narratives to analyse its practical and situated effects. We argue that desires for disclosure and open communication are not trivial or narcissistic and instead interpret them as productive emotional strategies for managing difficult circumstances, and for engendering a sense of competence and possibility.Thus a concern with`talkingthings through' is neither ineffectual nor adequately understood as a manifestation of an ahistorical feminine alignment with emotions and interior life. While we do not dismiss regulatory aspects of therapeutic culture, our analysis offers an alternative and empirically based account of the ways cultural imperatives are enacted across generations.
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