Download Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery: An Essay on Popular by Eva Illouz PDF

By Eva Illouz

Oprah Winfrey is the protagonist of the tale to be informed right here, yet this publication has broader intentions, starts Eva Illouz during this unique exam of the way and why this speak convey host has develop into a pervasive image in American tradition. in contrast to experiences of speak exhibits that decry debased cultural criteria and impoverished political cognizance, Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of distress asks us to reconsider our perceptions of tradition quite often and pop culture in particular.At a time whilst crises of morality, ideals, price platforms, and private worthy dominate either private and non-private spheres, Oprah's emergence as a cultural shape -- the Oprah personality -- turns into clearer, as she effectively reiterates a few of our such a lot urgent ethical questions. Drawing on approximately 100 convey transcripts; a 12 months and a half staring at the convey frequently; and research of journal articles, a number of biographies, O journal, Oprah booklet membership novels, self-help manuals promoted at the express, and enormous quantities of discussions at the Oprah Winfrey website, Illouz takes the Oprah heavily, revealing it to be a multilayered "textual constitution" that initiates, levels, and plays narratives of affliction and self-improvement that resonate with a large viewers and problem conventional versions of cultural research. This booklet appears to be like heavily at Oprah's process and her message, and within the technique reconsiders pop culture and the instruments we use to appreciate it.

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Additional resources for Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery: An Essay on Popular Culture

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39 Her persona is articulated at the juncture of THE SUCCESS OF A SELF-FAILED WOMAN 31 “stardom” and the “ordinary,” the charismatic and the quotidian. When Oprah Winfrey tells us how scared she was when she received the Emmy or how difficult it was to lose weight, she is casting stardom and success into entirely new codes: stardom is constructed as contiguous with rather than extraneous to the murky zone of everyday life. Oprah’s widely publicized struggle with her weight is located precisely at this juncture: as she makes sure to insist, her weight loss and physical exercise show her “strength of will,” endurance, and sheer ambition; yet, by revealing her painful effort to fashion her body, she also defetishizes what is otherwise the most revered ideal of media culture: the thin and flawless body.

22 THE SUCCESS OF A SELF-FAILED WOMAN A BLACK LEGACY In the myriad of social forces likely to have shaped Oprah’s biography, one seems to stand out: her membership in the AfricancAmerican community. For example, in a 1995 article, Oprah Winfrey declared: “The fact that I was created a Black woman in this lifetime, everything in my life is built around honoring that. I feel a sense of reverence to that. I hold it sacred. ’”14 Oprah’s repeatedly proclaimed membership in the black community as well as her self-proclaimed commitment to the advancement of women are key to understand the meaning of her cultural enterprise.

Why are the revelations of those failed parts of her life and psyche so captivating? The story of failures could not produce celebrity if American culture did not have a cultural mechanism to transform failure 34 THE SUCCESS OF A SELF-FAILED WOMAN into a positive experience. Oprah Winfrey’s failures have become success because she has cast her shortcomings in the cultural code of what we may call a therapeutic biography: what is being exposed are not “events” that occur in the “real” world, as much as the plots and subplots of her psychological struggle with herself.

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