Addiction Becomes Normal
$27.50
Addiction is now seen as an ordinary feature of human nature, an idea that introduces new doubts about the meaning of our desires.

Over the last forty years, a variety of developments in American science, politics, and culture have reimagined addiction in their own ways, but they share an important understanding: increasingly, addiction is described as normal, the natural result of a body that has been exposed to potent stimuli. This shift in thinking suggests that addiction is a condition latent in all of us, a common response to a society rich in thrills.

In Addiction Becomes Normal, Jaeyoon Park provides a history and critical analysis of the normalization of addiction in late-modern American society. By exploring addiction science, diagnostic manuals, judicial reform, and public health policy, he shows how seeing addiction as normal has flourished in recent decades and is supported throughout cultural life in the United States by the language of wellness, psychotherapy, and more. Building on Michel Foucault's depiction of the human figure, Park argues that this shift reflects the emergence of a new American subject, one formed by the accretion of experiences. This view of the human subject challenges the idea that our compulsions reflect our characters, wills, or spirits. For if addiction is an extreme but ordinary attachment, and if compulsive consumption resembles healthy behavior, then desire is no longer an expression of the soul so much as the pursuit of a past reward. A perceptive work of recent history and political theory, Addiction Becomes Normal raises new questions about what it means to be human in America today.

ISBN: 
9780226832760
Author: 
Binding: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
March 20, 2024