Therapeutic Discourse in American Television

By Mimi White


232 pp., 5.5 x 9.25

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4390-1
    Published: November 1992

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Drawing on feminist, postmodern, and psychoanalytic theories, White traces the impact of television's therapeutic and confessional discourses on family construction and consumer culture. In a comprehensive analysis of cable, network, and syndicated programming and both daytime and prime-time shows, she reveals how the therapeutic and confessional mode functions on television, relating it to broader questions of social identity and power.

Originally published 1992.

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"White approaches television in an interesting new way, foregoing the customary generic focus (on the sitcom or news programming, for example), working instead from the premise that the psychotherapeutic experience has become a dominant one in twentieth-century American culture and that television enacts that experience in a wide range of broadcast venues. . . . Throughout, White is careful to argue the complexity of the communication process in very compelling ways."--Cecelia Tichi, Vanderbilt University