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Why Love Hurts


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii 1 Introduction: The Misery of Love 1 2 The Great Transformation of Love or the Emergence of Marriage Markets 18 3 Commitment Phobia and the New Architecture of Romantic Choice (with Mattan Shachak) 59 4 The Demand for Recognition: Love and the Vulnerability of the Self 109 5 Love, Reason, Irony 156 6 From Romantic Fantasy to Disappointment 198 7 Epilogue 238 Notes 249 Index 282

About the Author

Eva Illouz is Rose Isaac Chair of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a member of the Center for the Study of Rationality. Her previous books include Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism and Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. Her book Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery won the American Sociological Association, Culture Section Best Book Award, in 2005.


Winner of the 2014 ASA 'Sociology of Emotions RecentContribution Award "Illouz deserves recognition for a book that is innovative,significant, and goes a long way toward ensuring that the socialand sociological aspects of 'love' will not be overlooked." American Journal of Sociology "A bold, thought-provoking book." TimesHigher Education "An important book full of arresting ideas about love inour time" LosAngeles Review of Books "A significant achievement, a major analysis of love and animportant contribution to sociology. It deserves to have a widereadership wherever love is." TheAustralian "With its pathbreaking and often provocativehypotheses, Why Love Hurts will hopefully incite important debatesabout the ways that broader societal transformations shape our inner lives and of how male dominance is increasinglyexercised on the emotional level." Journal of Critical Realism "A valuable and much needed contribution to the Western discussionof how emotions and capitalism influence each other." KULT-Online "An insightful attempt at tackling the timely and difficultquestion of the relationship between romantic suffering and(post)modernity." FWSA Blog "Illouz interrogates the travails of modern love and charts acourse through the emotional geography of contemporary feeling [This book] will surely prove to make a valuablecontribution as an addition to student reading lists, both for theideas that it puts forward and for the lively debate and heart-feltdiscussion that it will generate among both women and men." LSEReview of Books "Like any sociologist worth her salt, Illouz pushes readers toconsider how our experience of love might largely be created by thekind of society we live in. Tracing a sort of history of emotionsthrough archives and literature since the Regency era, she arguesthat in earlier times people s feelings about love andsentiment were quite different from those we take as self-evident... It is not our own fault love hurts, Illouz tells us; it isinherent to our modern condition." InsideStory " Why Love Hurts is a tour de force, a thrilling read.Unseating the primacy of individual psychology as the reigningexplanation for the travails of modern love, and demonstrating theprofoundly social nature of our most intimate feelings, Eva Illouzetches a whole new emotional atlas." Laura Kipnis, Northwestern University, and author of AgainstLove: A Polemic "Eva Illouz's Why Love Hurts is brilliant - theindispensable book on the social power and meaning of sex and love.And with a bonus: it cuts to the core of the modern emotionalcondition, all told." Todd Gitlin, Columbia University "Eva Illouz's enormous talent to interpret vast empiricalmaterial from interviews, statistics, magazines, and novels withsociological imagination and philosophical understanding leads tostriking and well-grounded results, such as the increasinglyimportant role of sexiness and physical attraction in choosingmates. A milestone in the investigation of changing patterns oflove and marriage." Axel Honneth, University of Frankfurt and ColumbiaUniversity "In this bold and ground-breaking book Eva Illouz argues thatthere is something qualitatively new in the modern experience ofromantic suffering. Readers may not agree with all of Illouz'shypotheses, but none will fail to be provoked by them - and in sodoing be forced to challenge their own assumptions about love andmodern life itself." Susan Neiman, Director of the Einstein Forum and author of Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grownup Idealists "Recently named one of the most important thinkers of the futureby German newspaper Die Zeit , Illouz could very well be thetwenty-first century's next great public intellectual." Guernica:A Magazine of Art & Politics "No one will be able to discuss love without referring to thisbook." DieZeit

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