The Paradox of Love
The sexual revolution is justly celebrated for the freedoms it brought--birth control, the decriminalization of abortion, the liberalization of divorce, greater equality between the sexes, women's massive entry into the workforce, and more tolerance of homosexuality. But as Pascal Bruckner, one of France's leading writers, argues in this lively and provocative reflection on the contradictions of modern love, our new freedoms have also brought new burdens and rules--without, however, wiping out the old rules, emotions, desires, and arrangements: the couple, marriage, jealousy, the demand for fidelity, the war between constancy and inconstancy. It is no wonder that love, sex, and relationships today are so confusing, so difficult, and so paradoxical. Drawing on history, politics, psychology, literature, pop culture, and current events, this book--a best seller in France--exposes and dissects these paradoxes. With his customary brilliance and wit, Bruckner traces the roots of sexual liberation back to the Enlightenment in order to explain love's supreme paradox, epitomized by the 1960s oxymoron of "free love": the tension between freedom, which separates, and love, which attaches. Ashamed that our sex lives fail to live up to such liberated ideals, we have traded neuroses of repression for neuroses of inadequacy, and we overcompensate: "Our parents lied about their morality," Bruckner writes, but "we lie about our immorality." Mixing irony and optimism, Bruckner argues that, when it comes to love, we should side neither with the revolutionaries nor the reactionaries. Rather, taking love and ourselves as we are, we should realize that love makes no progress and that its messiness, surprises, and paradoxes are not merely the sources of its pain--but also of its pleasure and glory.
The Paradox of Love
Drawing on history, politics, psychology and pop culture, the author traces the roots of sexual liberation to explain love's supreme paradox, and concludes that love's messiness, surprises and paradoxes are not merely the sources of its pain--but also of its pleasure.
The Paradox of Love
The Paradox of Love addresses both the healing and wounding nature of the greatest of contradictions. The human longing for love is fraught with what Jung called the "incalculable paradoxes of love." In this book of essays, McGehee studies the interpersonal and the intrapsychic dynamics of love, as well as its light and dark sides.
Hard to Get
Hard to Get is a powerful and intimate examination of the sex and love lives of the most liberated women in history—twenty-something American women who have had more opportunities, more positive role models, and more information than any previous generation. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Leslie C. Bell takes us directly into the lives of young women who struggle to negotiate the complexities of sexual desire and pleasure, and to make sense of their historically unique but contradictory constellation of opportunities and challenges. In candid interviews, Bell’s subjects reveal that, despite having more choices than ever, they face great uncertainty about desire, sexuality, and relationships. Ground-breaking and highly readable, Hard to Get offers fascinating insights into the many ways that sex, love, and satisfying relationships prove surprisingly elusive to these young women as they navigate the new emotional landscape of the 21st century.
All Joy and No Fun
Award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle the issue of the effects of children on their parents, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half-century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources - in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology - she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations - and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards. All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. All Joy and No Fun is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today - and tomorrow.
The Paradox of Generosity
Determining why, when, and to whom people feel compelled to be generous affords invaluable insight into many social practices. Organ donation, gift-giving, the funding of charities, and political views on taxation can all be illuminated by sociological and psychological perspectives on how American adults conceive of and demonstrate generosity. Focusing not only on financial giving but on the many diverse forms philanthropy can take, Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson show the deep impact - usually good, sometimes destructive - that giving has on individuals. The Paradox of Generosity is the first study to make use of the cutting-edge empirical data collected in Smith's groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, five-year Science of Generosity Initiative. It draws on an extensive survey of 2,000 Americans, more than sixty in-depth interviews with individuals across twelve states, and nuanced analysis of over 1,000 photographs and other visual materials. This wealth of evidence reveals a consistent link between demonstrating generosity and leading a better life: more generous people are happier, suffer fewer illnesses and injuries, live with a greater sense of purpose, and experience less depression. Smith and Davidson also show, however, that to achieve a better life a person must practice generosity regularly - random acts of kindness are not enough. Offering a wide range of vividly illustrative case studies, this volume will be a crucial resource for anyone seekingto understand the true impact and meaning of generosity.
The Paradox of Vertical Flight
Hilarious, deeply moving, mind-bending, original, romantic, and surprising, this debut teen novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Andrew Smith. Gary Shteyngart, author of the New York Times bestseller Super Sad True Love Story, says: "Do yourself a favor and get inside a car with Emil Ostrovski immediately! The Paradox of Vertical Flight is an amazing road trip. You're in for one heck of a ride." An Indie Next Pick! On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, Jack Polovsky kidnaps his own baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Walmart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and with the baby's mother, Jess. As they head to Grandma's house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one. By turns funny, heart wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fatherhood, and myth. "Shares a sense of humor and philosophical bent with such YA authors as John Green and Chris Crutcher. But the story and likable characters are Ostrovsky's own, a delightful mix of quirky, intelligent, naive, well-intentioned, and just plain dumb teens. A delightful success."—ALA Booklist
The Curious History of Love
The one emotion that matters most to many people is the one about which social thinkers rarely speak - love. For many people, love is the thing that matters most in their lives: they are searching for love, hoping to find in love a kind of happiness that they cannot find in their work or by surrounding themselves with material goods. But where does this peculiar and powerful blending together of love and happiness come from, and why do we find it such a compelling idea today? In this short book Jean-Claude Kaufmann offers a fresh account of the history of a feeling unlike any other. The modern idea of love as passion was born in the 12th century but it was marginalized by the rise of a kind of instrumental, calculating reason that became increasingly central to modern societies. As calculating reason began to encroach on the personal domain, many individuals sought to escape from it, searching for happiness elsewhere. As our societies become dominated by calculating reason and selfish individualism, we search elsewhere for the kind of happy love that will heal all our wounds. This is why we experience so many changes of heart in our personal lives: at times we are coldly calculating and then, a few moments later, we sacrifice ourselves to love without a second thought. Written by one of France's leading sociologists, this highly readable book sheds new light on love and happiness and will resonate with many readers.
The Paradox of Choice
Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions—both big and small—have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented. As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice—the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish—becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice—from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs—has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse. By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
The #1 New York Times Bestseller A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated? Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate. For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before. In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world. From the Hardcover edition.