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Transnational popular psychology and the global self-help industry : the politics of contemporary social change / Daniel Nehring, Emmanuel Alvarado, Eric C. Hendriks, Dylan Kerrigan.

  • Nehring, Daniel
  • Books

About this work


Self-help books aim to empower their readers and deliver happiness and personal fulfillment but do they really live up to this? This book offers a fresh perspective on self-help culture and popular psychology. Research on this subject matter has generally focused on the USA and other societies in the Global Northwest. In contrast, this book explores the production, circulation and consumption of self-help books from an innovative transnational perspective. Case studies on Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, the People's Republic of China, the United Kingdom and the USA explore the roles which self-help's therapeutic narratives of self and social relationships play in the contemporary world. In this context, the book questions the extent to which self-help fulfills its promise of individual autonomy and contentment. At the same time, it addresses debates about contemporary processes of globalisation as sources of cultural standardization.


Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Physical description

xi, 198 pages : black and white illustrations ; 22 cm


Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 2016.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Self-Help Worlds -- How to survive -- What are self-help books? -- Exploring self-help -- Structure of the book -- Self-Help and Society -- Why does self-help matter? -- Self-made men -- The self in the marketplace -- Self-Help's Transnationalisation -- Towards a transnational perspective on therapeutic culture -- Publishing statistics: size and scale -- Publishing statistics: growth trends and composition -- A transnational self-help entrepreneur -- How is self-help transnational? -- Self-Help Entrepreneurs in China -- The rise of self-help in China -- Mental life and social change in Chinese society -- China's glocalised self-help field -- Self-help in Chinese culture and public life -- Transnational self-help in contemporary China -- Self-Help in Crisis -- Self-help in an age of diminishing opportunities -- Feel-good books in an age of crisis -- 'Mainstream' self-help today -- Self-help dystopias -- Opting out and getting by -- Truth in the marketplace -- No crisis -- Self-help in the Anglosphere -- Cultural Struggles, Intimate Life and Transnational Narratives -- Self-help in Latin America -- Self-help and intimate life in Mexico -- Conservative-patriarchal relationships in Mexican self-help -- Plurality, individual choice and intimate life -- The self, intimate life and transnational self-help -- The Uses of Self-Help Books in Trinidad -- Self-help narratives and their readers -- Self-help guides in Western Trinidad -- The bookstores; Where do you find out about self-help guides? -- Readership -- 'It was spiritual and practical at the same time' -- Preparedness and the new survivalist -- Consumption -- A culture of self-help in Western Trinidad -- Transnational self-help in Trinidad -- Conclusion -- The Politics of Self-Help -- Self-help matters -- Transnational self-help -- Thin selves -- The political implications of self-help -- Final thoughts.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    Medical Collection
    WB327 2016N39t
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9781349596379
  • 134959637X