Consuming the Romantic Utopia (häftad)
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illustrated ed
University of California Press
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Consuming the Romantic Utopia (häftad)

Consuming the Romantic Utopia

Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

Häftad Engelska, 1997-05-01
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To what extent are our most romantic moments determined by the portrayal of love in film and on TV? Is a walk on a moonlit beach a moment of perfect romance or simply a simulation of the familiar ideal seen again and again on billboards and movie screens? In her unique study of American love in the twentieth century, Eva Illouz unravels the mass of images that define our ideas of love and romance, revealing that the experience of 'true' love is deeply embedded in the experience of consumer capitalism. Illouz studies how individual conceptions of love overlap with the world of cliches and images she calls the 'Romantic Utopia'. This utopia lives in the collective imagination of the nation and is built on images that unite amorous and economic activities in the rituals of dating, lovemaking, and marriage. Since the early 1900s, advertisers have tied the purchase of beauty products, sports cars, diet drinks, and snack foods to success in love and happiness. Illouz reveals that, ultimately, every cliche of romance - from an intimate dinner to a dozen red roses - is constructed by advertising and media images that preach a democratic ethos of consumption: material goods and happiness are available to all. Engaging and witty, Illouz's study begins with readings of ads, songs, films, and other public representations of romance and concludes with individual interviews in order to analyze the ways in which mass messages are internalized. Combining extensive historical research, interviews, and postmodern social theory, Illouz brings an impressive scholarship to her fascinating portrait of love in America.
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Eva Illouz teaches sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the Academic Director of the Program of Cultural Studies as well as a member of The Center for the Study of Rationality


Acknowledgments Introduction to the Sociology of Love Romantic Love as a Cultural Practice Romantic Love as a Utopia of Transgression Overview On Methodology PART I. WHEN ROMANCE MET THE MARKET Chapter 1. Constructing the Romantic Utopia The Secularization of Love, or Love as a New Religion Love on Sale Romance vs. Marriage A Romantic Tale Spectacle Conclusion Chapter 2. Trouble in Utopia The Price of Love Alone in Public Dating and the Spirit of Consumerism Conclusion PART 2. ALL THAT IS ROMANTIC MELTS INTO AIR: LOVE AS A POSTMODERN CONDITION Chapter 3* From the Romantic Utopia to the American Dream "You Could Be Here, Now" Such a Natural Love Romance as Invisible Affluence Codes Are Getting Tired Conclusion Chapter 4* An All-Consuming Love Reenchanting the World A Consuming Romance The Luxury of Romance Travel, Nature, and Romance Romance as Liminality The Commerce of Love: Ideology or Utopia? Conclusion Chapter 5. Real Fictions and Fictional Realities Love at First Sight Realist Love Reality as Fiction Fiction as Reality A Postmodern Romantic Condition Conclusion PART 3. THE BUSINESS OF LOVE Chapter 6. Reason within Passion Charting the Heart Passion within Reason, Reason within Passion The Uncertainties of the Heart The Science of Love Therapeutic Discourse as Reflexive Discourse Chapter 7. The Reasons for Passion Agapic and Erosic Love A Very Reasonable Madness Socioeconomic Boundaries Moral and Personality Boundaries Educational and Cultural Boundaries I Talk, Therefore You Love Me Love for Free Conclusion Chapter 8. The Class of Love The Elementary Forms of Romance Love as Difference Love and Symbolic Domination Class, Romance, and the Structure of Everyday Life Conclusion Conclusion: A Happy Ending? The Story of Love Appendix 1. A Few Words about Methods Appendix 2. Questionnaire Appendix 3. Images of Romance Notes References Index