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Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism Paperback – May 29, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0520205710 ISBN-10: 0520205715 Edition: 0th

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Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism + Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism + Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 371 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (May 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520205715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520205710
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Illouz creates a map of the intricate relationship between love and economics in American society. In an analytical style reminiscent of that of Daniel Bell in its scope and intellectual ambition, she argues that romantic love captures our minds and hearts by promising transgression through consumption of leisure and nature."—Michelle Lamont, author of Money, Morals, and Manners

About the Author

Eva Illouz teaches sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the Academic Director of the Program of Cultural Studies as well as a member of The Center for the Study of Rationality

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lleu Christopher on December 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely thought-provoking look at the relationship between romance and consumer capitalism. It explores in some detail the way in which our expectations of love and romance are influenced, perhaps even created, by advertising and the media. Yet, it goes quite a bit beyond this fascinating but limited theme to tackle some wider issues. Eva Illouz's study cuts to some core aspects of contemporary culture --the way our perception of nature, travel and tourism (and of course the way these are related to romantic stereotypes) have become tied to capitalist consumption; the "cultural contradiction" of capitalism --namely, that it's based on production (i.e. hard work) yet sells us on consumption (i.e. materialism, leisure);
the different impact consumer culture has on working class and upper middle class people. The book appears to be aimed at an academic audience, which is a pity, because the subject is of much wider concern. While it definitely takes concentration, and a willingness to endure extensive footnotes, I found it well worth the effort.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The idea of 'romantic love' is our culture's sacred cow: just try to find a dozen other books in print that examine this modern, Western notion in a critical way. Illouz does good work here, using numerous interviews and polled data (one wishes she had a larger sample, my main criticism, and that it seems to drift toward the end)... to arrive at the conclusion that our internalized images of 'romance' come from advertising, not from our personal experiences. It's one of those books that shifts the way you see things just slightly, so that the familiar becomes much more interesting and suspect (I certainly think of this tome when I read in personals ads about 'moonlit strolls on the beach, champagne, and red roses'...). And boy, will you get a reaction from your friends when they see you goggling this volume! Nothing irritates people more.
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By Rainey on June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Used this book for research for a paper for my Class on Love - which examined the numerous influences that affect how we love. Great Class. This book was very helpful.
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