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The Notion of Identity and its Relation to Social Order in Self-Help Books

Iva Žurić Jakovina orcid id ; Odsjek za kulturalne studije, Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Rijeci, Hrvatska
Trpimir Jakovina orcid id ; Klinika za psihološku medicinu, Klinički bolnički centar Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 436 Kb

str. 325-349

preuzimanja: 3.329



This paper focuses on an underresearched topic of the notion of identity and its relation to social order in self-help books. First, the theoretical backgrounds assumed to have influenced the notion of identity in self-help books were analysed. Identity as represented in self-help books can be changed, improved, discovered, strengthened and achieved. It is deficient, and self-help books attempt to compensate for that lack through the processes of self-realisation referred to as “tools for achieving happiness”. Along with the relationship between self-help books and identity at the individual level, another specific topic of the paper is the relation of identity in self-help book to society and social order. Sociological and cultural-critical approach was used to analyse possible contribution that self-help books might make to social change. More specifically, it was analysed whether identity advocated in self-help books can empower individuals for active social participation. Two dominant perspectives in cultural, critical and sociological analyses of self-help books were used to that aim. One claims that striving for individual happiness promoted in self-help books is only maintaining the status quo, while the other one suggests that self-help books can act as catalysts of social change. That is explained by the notion that change at the individual level leads to change in the broader social space. The authors concluded that identities are constantly in the process of transformation, which allows a simultaneous existence of subordination to social order and resistance to it.

Ključne riječi

self-help books, identity, Eriksonʼs theory of identity, self-actualisation, cognitive-behavioural therapy, social change

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

Posjeta: 4.951 *