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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Drawing on diverse examples from popular culture - from dating sites and relationship self-help books, to our obsession with imitating celebrities' lifestyles - and fusing sociology, psychoanalysis and philosophy, this study on the nature of choice shows that choice is rarely based on a simple rational decision with a predictable outcome.
Paperback, 184 pages
Published June 17th 2010 by Profile books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Before I go any further, despite the poor rating I think this is an important book that people should read – but as I’ll outline below it is flawed and problematic, and for that reason limited. That doesn’t stop me thinking that confronting and debunking this question of ‘choice’ is probably one of the major political issues of the time and I have great respect for Salecl’s attempt to confront and grapple with it: I really want to rate this as high on several scales – important, readable, access...more
Końcówka ratowała książkę, ale wydanie jest fatalne. Tłumaczenie popełnia błędy, podobnie korekta: nowy akapit w środku zdania, "nie raz" kiedy powinno być "nieraz" ale za to brak spacji między "(nie)" i "przeżyć" w tytule książki Ehrenreich, arbitralność kursywy w terminach obcojęzycznych to tylko bardziej rzucające się w oczy problemy. Sama Salecl upraszcza i spłaszcza, przeskakuje z ciekawych rzezy na zbędne anegdotki, a w dodatku dokleja psychoanalizę mało zgrabnie (zasadniczo wiedziałam, że...more
Ab-so-lute-ly terrible. This is not a work of philosophy on any level - even an amateur should feel ashamed at producing such anecdotal tripe.
It was a relief to read this and explains a lot about my behavior. Thank goodness something can.
Berem v slovenščini.
It is a nice little book that provides an overview of the psychological effects of late capitalism from the perspective of the 'tyranny of choice.' The writer's argument is that as we are given more freedom to choose, it becomes more oppressive to live. The idea of having a choice might sound liberating, but Salecl shows that as much as we seem to make our decisions ourselves internally, we actually desire external authorities (i.e. self-help books, life couches etc.) more than ever to tell us w...more
"This book is a fascinating critique—so well-written and entertaining—of our contemporary culture of choice and the anxiety that surrounds these times. Salecl discusses the self-help industry that has burgeoned to help us deal with choosing, and all the ways in which we subvert choice in order to get it over with. Here is a delicious passage that opens the book at page 8: “Today’s advice culture presents the search for a spouse as not all that different from the search for a car: first we need t...more
While this lost towards the end (with a bunch of loose ends just rolling away from the reader), I thought ~ the first half was very worth my time - and everyone's. "Choice" is basically a long feature article on an issue that is now more current than ever: How choice nowadays appears as absolute freedom, but really means absolute pressure when it comes to living and enjoying our lives, and our selves. Salecl questions this sentiment as a bastard child of capitalism, and she delivers arguments to...more
I think this book could have been great had there been real scholarship going on and not a series of anecdotes that were every once in awhile interrupted by a superficial Lacanian analysis. The author was just too glib for me, and frankly I found it irritating that, while so much of the underlying theoretical frame borrows from Foucault's work on governmentality, limits and transgression and his discourse analyses of sexuality, the author couldn't be bothered to cite him once. Guess she's way to...more
Easy to read and interesting psychoanalytical self help book. I was bitching about finding difficulty making a career choice to a friend and he suggested I read this book, which was recommended to him by his therapist. if you find yourself struggling between life's choices and feeling anxiety about decisions, this is a good book to read. Not particularly groundbreaking stuff but I was never bored either.
Natasa Tovornik
Salecl talks about the different types of choices we seem to face and also explores if this are choices at all. If not in a pursuit of our individual power we expanded the instrument of choice in too many places, making us decide something that we are not capable of.
A very interesting read, despite sometimes being a bit "academic".
First book that really describes the modern urban experience, for me. Look forward to the sequel in which Salecl outlines further how we might engage with what she has here described.
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Renata Salecl is a Slovenian philosopher, sociologist and legal theorist. She is a senior researcher at the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana. She has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics for several years and is about to take over similar tasks at Birkbeck College University of London, lecturing on the topic of emotions and law. Every year...more
More about Renata Salecl...
On Anxiety Gaze and Voice as Love Objects: [SIC 1] (Per)Versions of Love and Hate The Spoils of Freedom: Psychoanalysis, Feminism and Ideology After the Fall of Socialism Sexuation: SIC 3

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