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What if society is nuts?

Permanent Linkby Ada on Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:14 pm

The author of Why Love Hurts, Eva Illouz, is interviewed here:

Quote, regarding how she came to her unusual position on the common problem of relationship misery:

A few years after I started living in Israel, I needed therapy to help me cope with the difficulty of living in Israel. I had lived as a newcomer in France and in the U.S.A., and had felt twice quite competent at figuring new codes of conduct in these two countries, but here, in Israel I felt that something persistently eluded me. So I went to the psychologist. Two of them actually.

Psychologists refused to speak about this problem in sociological terms, that is, as a problem of the body collective in which I was living. They kept trying to throw it back on my psyche. The society seemed to me deeply dysfunctional, and yet here I was having to work on my psyche to adapt to a dysfunctional environment.

This created in me two things: One, a realization that psychological modes of understanding, at the end of the day, always blame it on you. You may be living in a violent society with a very fuzzy sense of norms, and yet it will be your problem if you do not find ways to adapt to it and be functional in it. Two, the other effect was to make me irrevocably committed to explaining problems in sociological, rather [than] psychological terms.

* * *

Ada's note: I've been thinking recently about definitions of normalcy depending on culture, and that not all culture promotes healthy behaviour (DOH!) It's hard to sort through, though, because very few people can change their culture and there is infinitely more support for changing yourself. Balance that against our common urge to blame or excuse, where Society becomes the new 'bad parenting.'

We think too much and feel too little.
 More than machinery, we need humanity.
 More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

Charlie Chaplain in The Great Dictator
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Re: What if society is nuts?

Permanent Linkby Plutarch on Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:36 am

There is very little culture in the world. Most people are defined by the enemies they have, and that is barbarism. Eating food is culture neither.
"Those who are bad seek company in order to forget them selves." - Aristotle
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