Study Habits In Canada

Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided Explores the Dark Side of Positive Thinking

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                                                                                                                                                By Michelle Goldberg Posted on October 11, study habits in canada 2009, study habits in canada Printed on October 15, study habits in canada 2009 http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/rdbook/1849/ Last month, study habits in canada the front page of the New York Times style section ran an inadvertently depressing story about a group of young life coaches sometimes referred to as the “spiritual cowgirls.” These hip young women, study habits in canada who have lots of charisma but no professional qualifications, study habits in canada are setting themselves up as ersatz gurus to their questing peers. Study habits in canada They charge hundreds of dollars for sessions that combine new age atmospherics with the kind of power-of-positive thinking nostrums that made a phenomenon out of The Secret. “[N]ow there is a new role model for New York’s former Carrie Bradshaws—young women who are vegetarian, study habits in canada well versed in self-help and New Age spirituality, study habits in canada and who are finding a way to make a living preaching to eager audiences, study habits in canada mostly female, study habits in canada” reported the Times. Study habits in canada One 31-year-old member of this eager audience is quoted praising her spiritual tutor Gabrielle Bernstein, study habits in canada a 29-year-old former nightclub publicist who lectures on using the “laws of attraction” to “manifest” one’s desires. Study habits in canada “A lot of women look up to her, study habits in canada” the student says. Study habits in canada “We need this guidance and we are searching for this guidance.” Bernstein’s audacity in marketing herself as a sage appears to be matched by the piteousness of her customers. The Times story is evidence of the timeliness of Barbara Ehrenreich’s bracing, study habits in canada acidulous new book, study habits in canada Bright-Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Study habits in canada A broadside against exactly the sort of pabulum peddled by Bernstein, study habits in canada Bright-Sided reveals the historical roots and conservative uses of the positive thinking movement, study habits in canada showing how it encourages victim-blaming, study habits in canada political complacency, study habits in canada and a culture-wide flight from realism. “The flip side of positivity is… a harsh insistence on personal responsibility: if your business fails or your job is eliminated, study habits in canada it must be because you didn’t try hard enough, study habits in canada didn’t believe firmly enough in the inevitability of your success, study habits in canada” writes Ehrenreich. Study habits in canada “As the economy has brought more layoffs and financial turbulence to the middle class, study habits in canada the promoters of positive thinking have increasingly emphasized this negative judgment: to be disappointed, study habits in canada resentful, study habits in canada or downcast is to be a ‘victim’ and a ‘whiner.’” It’s satisfying, study habits in canada in a cranky contrarian way, study habits in canada to watch a writer as smart as Ehrenreich take aim at something as universally revered as dogged optimism. Study habits in canada Yet while America’s obsessive positivity might be risible, study habits in canada it initially seems like a stretch to describe it as dangerous. Study habits in canada Nevertheless, study habits in canada Bright-Sided makes a surprisingly convincing case that positive thinking—which essentially teaches that one’s thoughts, study habits in canada properly harnessed, study habits in canada can control physical events in the world—is often delusional and sometimes actively dangerous. Michelle Goldberg, study habits in canada a contributing editor at Religion Dispatches, study habits in canada is the author of the New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, study habits in canada and of the forthcoming The Means of Reproduction: Sex, study habits in canada Power and the Future of the World, study habits in canada to be published in April by Penguin Press. View this story online at: http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/rdbook/1849/