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Self-Esteem - An American History

  • Innbundet

  • 2024

  • Engelsk

By the end of the twentieth century, the idea of self-esteem had become enormously influential. A staggering amount of psychological research and self-help literature was being published and, before long, devoured by readers. Self-esteem initiatives permeated American schools. Self-esteem became the way of understanding ourselves, our personalities, our interactions with others. Nowadays, however, few people think much about the concept of self-esteem—but perhaps we should. Self-Esteem: An American History is the first historical study to explore the emotional politics of self-esteem in modern America. Written with verve and insight, Ian Miller’s expert analysis looks at the critiques of self-help that accuse it of propping up conservative agendas by encouraging us to look solely inside ourselves to resolve life’s problems. At the same time, he reveals how African American, LGBTQ+, and feminist activists have endeavored to build positive collective identities based on self-esteem, pride, and self-respect. This revelatory book will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in the history of mental health and well-being, and in how the politics of self-esteem is played out in today’s US society and culture.

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