In line with the previous chapter, my focus here is on how another set of popular texts seek to transform and regulate — in often conflicting ways and for different ideological purposes — the single woman. Here I consider a number of self-help and conduct style manuals directed towards single women produced in the 1990s and 2000s. This subgenre of self-help writing, corresponding with increased numbers of singles, appears to have experienced a boom over this period. Self-help can lead readers, as Micki McGee argues, ‘into a cycle where the self is not improved but endlessly belaboured’ (2005, p. 12). This chapter asks if such manuals simply promote such labour on the single self as a means to secure the other; that is, it examines the degree to which they participate in constituting the single woman as a problem (either individual or social) that needs to be remedied. If self-help’s purpose is apparent self-correction, as a number of critics have emphasized (Kaminer, 1992; Rimke, 2000; McGee, 2005), what is it about the single woman that needs ‘fixing’? Within these therapeutic discourses, what kinds of single selves are considered ‘healthy’, or indeed ‘unhealthy’ (Hazleden, 2003)? That is, what type of (postfeminist) selfhood is permissible for the single woman? What kinds of behaviours require modification, how and why? Through their prescriptions, such texts seek to bring into being particular gendered single subjects and it is the discursive processes, and the politics underpinning them, through which this is achieved that concern me.
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten
Sie möchten Zugang zu diesem Inhalt erhalten? Dann informieren Sie sich jetzt über unsere Produkte:
- Self-Help and the Single Girl: From Salvation to Validation
- Palgrave Macmillan UK