Hazleden, Rebecca (2010) You have to learn these lessons sometime: persuasion and therapeutic power relations in bestselling relationship manuals. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 24 (2). pp. 291-305. ISSN 1030-4312
Whilst self-help books have recently come under increased academic scrutiny, the power relations in the techniques they use in order to persuade, convince and convert their readers remain largely unexamined. This paper seeks to redress this omission, and examines a selection of bestselling relationship manuals published between 1973 and 2005 for claims to authority and techniques of persuasion. Further, it examines and critiques Rose’s dimensions of therapeutic power relations, through the claims authors make to the right to speak as experts in human relationships and the techniques they use to persuade, co-opt and interpolate the reader into the therapeutic process.
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