Friday, 24 June 2016

Bright-sided, by Barbara Ehrenreich

In a post a couple of weeks ago, I talked about reading a book called "Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America", by Barbara Ehrenreich.

The book is centred around America's love affair with positive thinking, a fad that has grown into an almost cultlike passion; when no one can mention anything negative. This "fake" positivity is creating a lot of workplace stress and the symptoms of emotional labour.

I firmly recommend the book: if you haven't read it, do so. Barbara also explores America's mega churches, and the sanitising and de-iconising of Christian religion within the US. This was something I was not aware of, and found the explanations and theories very interesting.

While Barbara's book is a little old now - it was published in 2009 - it was still a very enlightening read. While I am not sure that her arguments are always valid, Barbara does raise some good points about the financial sector, the US sub-prime mortgage market, and the 2008 global financial crisis possibly having been affected by positive thinking made manifest as a wilful disregard for actual economic reality.


The book in many ways was a little brief: I would have liked are deeper and more meaty argument to have been developed, in order for me to have really been persuaded by her writing.

However: it is worth a read, and will provide you with a different perspective on things we take for granted

Like the guilt trip applied by the 'pink ribboners'.


Sam
  • Reference: Ehrenreich, Barbara (2009). Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. USA: Harvard Business School Press

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