02 Nov Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption of the 1970s
Sam Binkley (Sociology, Emerson College)
Wednesday, November 2 / 2:00 PM
Theater and Dance Building 2517
From “getting loose” to “letting it all hang out” the 1970’s were filled with exhortations to free oneself from artificial restraints and discover oneself in a more authentic and creative life. In the wake of the counterculture of the 1960s, anything that could be made to yield to a more impulsive vitality was reinvented in a looser way. Binkley investigates the dissemination of these self-loosening narratives and their widespread appeal to America’s middle class, describing the rise of a genre of lifestyle publishing that emerged from a network of small offbeat presses, mostly located on the West Coast. Drawing on the thought of Pierre Bourdieu, Zygmunt Bauman, and others, Binkley explains how self-loosening narratives helped the middle class confront the modernity of the 1970s.
Binkley’s research focuses on the formation of subjectivity in the context of contemporary social life. His book Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption in the 1970s (Duke 2007) examines the role of lifestyle print culture in the shaping of personal identity. He is currently working on a new book project on happiness, life coaching and positive psychology, read through the lens of neo-liberal governmentality.
Sponsored by the Department of Theater and Dance and the IHC’s Performance Studies Research Focus Group.