Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

Εξώφυλλο
University of California Press, 29 Μαΐ 1997 - 332 σελίδες
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 clichés 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 cliché 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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Περιεχόμενα

Constructing the Romantic Utopia
13
The Secularization of Love or Love as a New Religion
16
Love on Sale
21
Romance vs Marriage
27
A Romantic Tale Spectacle
30
Conclusion
34
Trouble in Utopia
36
The Price of Love
37
A Postmodern Romantic Condition
160
Conclusion
169
Reason within Passion
175
Charting the Heart
178
Passion within Reason Reason within Passion
180
The Uncertainties of the Heart
184
Therapeutic Discourse as Reflexive Discourse
189
The Reasons for Passion
196

Alone in Public
42
Dating and the Spirit of Consumerism
54
Conclusion
64
From the Romantic Utopia to the American Dream
69
You Could Be Here Now
71
Such a Natural Love
79
Romance as Invisible Affluence
83
Codes Are Getting Tired
89
Conclusion
98
An AllConsuming Love
100
Reenchanting the World
101
A Consuming Romance
108
The Luxury of Romance
120
Travel Nature and Romance
125
Romance as Liminality
130
Ideology or Utopia?
133
Conclusion
139
Real Fictions and Fictional Realities
141
Love at First Sight
145
Realist Love
148
Reality as Fiction
154
Fiction as Reality
158
Agapic and Erosic Love
199
a Very Reasonable Madness
203
Socioeconomic Boundaries
208
Moral and Personality Boundaries
215
Educational and Cultural Boundaries
218
I Talk Therefore You Love Me
220
Love for Free
228
Conclusion
233
The Class of Love
235
The Elementary Forms of Romance
237
Love as Difference
239
Love and Symbolic Domination
253
Class Romance and the Structure of Everyday Life
256
Conclusion
273
A Happy Ending?
276
A Few Words About Methods
285
Questionnaire
292
Images of Romance
300
Notes
305
References
333
Index
353
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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

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