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Emotional illiteracy: margins of resistance

Parker, Ian (2008) Emotional illiteracy: margins of resistance. Qualitative research in psychology, 5 (1). pp. 19-32. ISSN 1478-0887

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This paper is about changing cultural contexts for resistance and the way that cultural practices that are resistant to power at one moment become, at the next, implicated in power. The hegemony of certain forms of personal experience also constitutes certain kinds of margins and certain kinds of resistance. Contemporary practices of the self are underpinned by the assumption that there is a frailty of social relations in contemporary society that is homologous to a frailty of the self, a frailty that is addressed by and perpetuated by therapeutic modes of self-management and professional intervention. Qualitative researchers concerned with representations of subjectivity are often engaged in the elaboration of these therapeutic discourses as an alternative to positivist traditions of research in psychology. The interventions described are marked by what can be termed 'knowing emotional illiteracy' that disturbs what we know about the self and identity.

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