I’m reading Eva Illouz’s Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism, and it’s surprisingly good. It’s an analysis of how our emotional lives are conditioned by the system of economic relations we live in. Illouz works in the same vein as Zygmunt Bauman in his Liquid Love, but her analysis is much stronger because she talks, in a very honest and strong way, about the ways in which feminism shores up neoliberalism.
It’s very fashionable to write research about emotions these days. The so-called “emotional turn” in scholarship produced a crapload of gushy, silly books and articles about emotions. Illouz’s book is extremely refreshing in contrast because she is strangely uninterested in any of the dogmatic pieties that academics usually emit when trying to say something about gender, feminism, psychology, and capitalism.
I wondered why Illouz was so sane and wrote with such freedom until I looked at the…
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