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Self-Help, Inc.Makeover Culture in American Life$
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Micki McGee

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171242.001.0001

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From Having It All to Simple Abundance

From Having It All to Simple Abundance

Gender and the Logic of Diminished Expectations

(p.79) Chapter 3 From Having It All to Simple Abundance
Self-Help, Inc.

Micki McGee

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the literature addressed to women, with its more substantial innovations. Helen Gurley Brown represents an advance guard position in the elimination of boundaries between professional and public life. The emergence of a new term or concept often serves as a marker of significant social change. Life as a work of art offers a ready alternative to the older metaphor of life as a journey with a singular trajectory. Arlie Russell Hochschild's The Time Bind and Cheryl Richardson's Take Time for Your Life showed the struggle to balance the demands of full-time jobs and full-time responsibilities as parents. Some of America's most successful women, Oprah Winfrey and Richardson among them, find themselves avoiding a discussion of what self-help authors would call the elephant in the living room. The extension of the ideal of self-realization to women accelerated tendencies that were already apparent in the cultures of capitalism.

Keywords:   Helen Gurley Brown, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Cheryl Richardson, Oprah Winfrey, capitalism, Time Bind, Take Time

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