Episode 40: The Confidence Cult

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Over the last decade, manifestation-based rhetorics to “love yourself,” “believe in yourself” and “feel good in your own skin” have become guiding social directives for people, and especially for women. We see these mantras in social media captions, advertising campaigns, and song lyrics that seem to promise that, through a confidence-based mindset, we will be able to transform our psychology, and therefore the material conditions of our lives. Though it may seem harmless, or even empowering, the tendency to emphasize individual agency over the structural conditions we exist within and through is perhaps the core component of a culture of neoliberalism that also permeates and drives almost every part of our society. We spoke with sociologists Shani Orgad and Rosalind Gill who are the minds behind "Confidence Culture," a new book that specifically examines how the entrenched social injustices of our time have been reframed as psychological blocks, and what this means for us. Shani Orgad is an associate professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Rosalind Gill is a professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at City, University of London. Purchase "Confidence Culture" here: https://www.dukeupress.edu/confidence-culture

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