Taking One’s Responsibilities While Facing Adversity: A Balanced Analysis of Self-Help Books Reading (Sociological Research Online)
Auteur: Nicolas Marquis
Abstract: Self-help books are frequently criticised by social scientists, who often impute problematic effects (on individuals and on society) to their reading. This article intends to show why this phenomenon needs to be studied through a theory of practice which includes the reception process. Drawing upon 55 interviews and 297 letters from self-help book readers, the article questions the practice of self-help reading in its own relevance system to show how readers use these books with a need for effectiveness and conduct different inquiries about their credibility. I finally argue that this empirical stage not only does not impair a critical perspective on self-help books but might actually improve it.