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

Przednia okładka
University of California Press, 29 maj 1997 - 332
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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Constructing the Romantic Utopia
23
The Secularization of Love or Love as a New Religion
26
Love on Sale
31
Romance vs Marriage
37
A Romantic Tale Spectacle
40
Conclusion
44
Trouble in Utopia
46
The Price of Love
47
Conclusion
179
Reason within Passion
185
Charting the Heart
188
Passion within Reason Reason within Passion
190
The Uncertainties of the Heart
194
The Science of Love
196
Therapeutic Discourse as Reflexive Discourse
199
The Reasons for Passion
206

Alone in Public
52
Dating and the Spirit of Consumerism
64
Conclusion
74
From the Romantic Utopia to the American Dream
79
You Could Be Here Now
81
Such a Natural Love
89
Romance as Invisible Affluence
93
Codes Are Getting Tired
99
Conclusion
108
An AllConsuming Love
110
Reenchanting the World
111
A Consuming Romance
118
The Luxury of Romance
130
Travel Nature and Romance
135
Romance as Liminality
140
Ideology or Utopia?
143
Conclusion
149
Real Fictions and Fictional Realities
151
Love at First Sight
155
Realist Love
158
Reality as Fiction
164
Fiction as Reality
168
A Postmodern Romantic Condition
170
Agapic and Erosic Love
209
a Very Reasonable Madness
213
Socioeconomic Boundaries
218
Moral and Personality Boundaries
225
Educational and Cultural Boundaries
228
I Talk Therefore You Love Me
230
Love for Free
238
Conclusion
243
The Class of Love
245
The Elementary Forms of Romance
247
Love as Difference
249
Love and Symbolic Domination
263
Class Romance and the Structure of Everyday Life
266
Conclusion
283
A Happy Ending?
286
A Few Words About Methods
295
Questionnaire
302
Images of Romance
310
Notes
315
References
343
Index
363
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Informacje o autorze (1997)

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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