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

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Oprah Winfrey is the protagonist of the story to be told here, but this book has broader intentions, begins Eva Illouz in this original examination of how and why this talk show host has become a pervasive symbol in American culture. Unlike studies of talk shows that decry debased cultural standards and impoverished political consciousness, Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Oprah Winfrey is the protagonist of the story to be told here, but this book has broader intentions, begins Eva Illouz in this original examination of how and why this talk show host has become a pervasive symbol in American culture. Unlike studies of talk shows that decry debased cultural standards and impoverished political consciousness, Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery asks us to rethink our perceptions of culture in general and popular culture in particular. At a time when crises of morality, beliefs, value systems, and personal worth dominate both public and private spheres, Oprah's emergence as a cultural form--the Oprah persona--becomes clearer, as she successfully reiterates some of our most pressing moral questions. Drawing on nearly one hundred show transcripts; a year and a half of watching the show regularly; and analysis of magazine articles, several biographies, O Magazine, Oprah Book Club novels, self-help manuals promoted on the show, and hundreds of discussions on the Oprah Winfrey Web site, Illouz takes the Oprah industry seriously, revealing it to be a multilayered "textual structure" that initiates, stages, and performs narratives of suffering and self-improvement that resonate with a wide audience and challenge traditional models of cultural analysis. This book looks closely at Oprah's method and her message, and in the process reconsiders popular culture and the tools we use to understand it.


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Oprah Winfrey is the protagonist of the story to be told here, but this book has broader intentions, begins Eva Illouz in this original examination of how and why this talk show host has become a pervasive symbol in American culture. Unlike studies of talk shows that decry debased cultural standards and impoverished political consciousness, Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Oprah Winfrey is the protagonist of the story to be told here, but this book has broader intentions, begins Eva Illouz in this original examination of how and why this talk show host has become a pervasive symbol in American culture. Unlike studies of talk shows that decry debased cultural standards and impoverished political consciousness, Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery asks us to rethink our perceptions of culture in general and popular culture in particular. At a time when crises of morality, beliefs, value systems, and personal worth dominate both public and private spheres, Oprah's emergence as a cultural form--the Oprah persona--becomes clearer, as she successfully reiterates some of our most pressing moral questions. Drawing on nearly one hundred show transcripts; a year and a half of watching the show regularly; and analysis of magazine articles, several biographies, O Magazine, Oprah Book Club novels, self-help manuals promoted on the show, and hundreds of discussions on the Oprah Winfrey Web site, Illouz takes the Oprah industry seriously, revealing it to be a multilayered "textual structure" that initiates, stages, and performs narratives of suffering and self-improvement that resonate with a wide audience and challenge traditional models of cultural analysis. This book looks closely at Oprah's method and her message, and in the process reconsiders popular culture and the tools we use to understand it.

45 review for Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery: An Essay on Popular Culture

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    whoahahaha, Bapak pemilik publishing meminta untuk me-review-nya, since m the one doin the translation - back then, gila jaman kiplik awal baru kenal Ronny. Anyways, It's too bad that the book cant come out in first place, not bcoz m the one doin the translation but far more since it's the new option to look at the world. A scope offered by a famous show-lady who brings pop into culture ;) Here in the book, Eva has not only wrote about hw famous Oprah had become, but she also has ripped-off much of O whoahahaha, Bapak pemilik publishing meminta untuk me-review-nya, since m the one doin the translation - back then, gila jaman kiplik awal baru kenal Ronny. Anyways, It's too bad that the book cant come out in first place, not bcoz m the one doin the translation but far more since it's the new option to look at the world. A scope offered by a famous show-lady who brings pop into culture ;) Here in the book, Eva has not only wrote about hw famous Oprah had become, but she also has ripped-off much of Oprah's personal history in order for us - reader and her loyal viewer - to understand her messages and the tools she chooses to deliver them. Years ago, it's still taboo to speak abt personal matters in front of (live) television, but Oprah started a new pop-tradition where sharing is IN today and keeping it hidden under our roof is so LAST YEAR. The reason why she encourages more and more women to come forward and how she faces sexual harassment issue. Reading the book is like getting inside Oprah's head, walking down the path she takes to the office and back home... way back from her childhood until years when she struggles to be accepted as black descendant in media industry. Do you know, that all those questions she appoints to her guests hv been designed to fit proper drama and mind-set transfixed for viewers to catch. This is one of her ways to send out her ideas, her messages and be agreed upon by over billions of people around the world. Yes, she takes out the glam outta misery. There are many more to read here def.. so, if u're one of those who're curious abt her fame, Oprah-persona... this book is full of it :) Untuk mereka yang hendak mendalami pop-culture dan aplikasinya dalam industri media, atau sekedar ingin tahu trik pendalaman kasus yg diterapkan Oprah melalui pertanyaannya, atau sekedar nge-fans sama Oprah.. this book will suit u well. Further info hub Ronny aja yaaaa.. huehehehehe *ngaciiiiirrr

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Has anyone on here read this? I bought it as a gift once for my former roommate who loves Oprah, but I'm not sure if she ever got around to reading it. I think this book might be great. I am very interested in Oprah, and I find it so fascinating how much people hate her. I don't hate Oprah at all! I actually think she's pretty awesome. And of course, I want to know more about the Glamour of Misery.... who wouldn't? Has anyone on here read this? I bought it as a gift once for my former roommate who loves Oprah, but I'm not sure if she ever got around to reading it. I think this book might be great. I am very interested in Oprah, and I find it so fascinating how much people hate her. I don't hate Oprah at all! I actually think she's pretty awesome. And of course, I want to know more about the Glamour of Misery.... who wouldn't?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Esi Rubanovich

    Eva Illouz is a queen and she’s by far one of my favourite researchers out there. I LOVE her research themes and find them always super culturally relevant. Obviously since this was published in 2003, some points Illouz makes are not ultra revelational today but it’s crazy to see how the cultural ideas Oprah planted evolved in the past two decades, especially in the US.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Griseo

    Tengo sentimientos encontrados con este libro. Por un lado su autora es Eva Illouz (una de esas autoras que despierta toda mi simpatía y admiración), pero por el otro estar tantas páginas analizando la cabeza de Oprah es un poco el infierno. También está, la verdad, que el lenguaje de sociales en inglés se me ha hecho muy duro. Eso sí, si quieres saber de Oprah y populismo, éste es tu libro.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    The big innovators as seen by the little humans that crawl on the dirt. It is about morals, of course, and about purity. And with the help of this text you could end up another paper pusher living off the tax money like Illouz, and nothing like Oprah.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Margot

    An analysis of Oprah that also aspires to offer "a comprehensive approach to culture." Reasonably successful at the first ambition, if fairly unsurprising. I prefer my pop culture analysis with the occasional surprising insight that turns my thinking inside out, and there wasn't much of that here, but maybe that's an unfair expectation? As for the latter ambition, well, I suppose it's not a bad snapshot of what cultural studies looks like right now--trying to balance ideological critique with an An analysis of Oprah that also aspires to offer "a comprehensive approach to culture." Reasonably successful at the first ambition, if fairly unsurprising. I prefer my pop culture analysis with the occasional surprising insight that turns my thinking inside out, and there wasn't much of that here, but maybe that's an unfair expectation? As for the latter ambition, well, I suppose it's not a bad snapshot of what cultural studies looks like right now--trying to balance ideological critique with an appreciation for how audiences can use texts in transformative (potentially radical) ways and also account for the ways institutional parameters shape the media production/reception. Somehow that doesn't seem very revolutionary either. The prose is a little dense, but doesn't seem intentionally obfuscatory. Recommended if this sounds fun to you (both in terms of content and style): "my argument is that her cultural enterprise--ranging from her talk show to her book club and magazine--is both a rumination about and a set of tools for coping with the 'new and normal chaos' of personal relationships in the era of reflexive modernity." Also: "Why does the stubborn recycling of pain into a victorious narrative of self-transformation and self-learning signal a resounding moral failure...?" I ended up reading the introduction and skimming the first chapter and conclusion. Very grad school. Maybe I'd have liked it better if I had a seminar to discuss it with?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Edith

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    Lil

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    John

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    Kryssybyss

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    OA

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    Jesse

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jo Ridley

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  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 5 out of 5

    Charles

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    Madiha

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    Geneva Lewis

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    T.

  45. 4 out of 5

    Daniela Gale

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