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Transnational flows of therapeutic discourse: A study of self-help texts in Latin America Dr.

Vanina Papalini Centro de Estudios Avanzados Universidad Nacional de Crdoba Crdoba Argentina vaninapapalini@gmail.com Dr. Daniel Nehring Department of Criminology and Sociology Middlesex University London United Kingdrom d.nehring@mdx.ac.uk

1. Introduction In this article, we look at the transnational circulation of self-help texts on personal life in Latin America. Specifically, we are interested in two questions: First, what forms of therapeutic discourse can be found in self-help texts circulated, sold, and read in Latin America? Second, how are these self-help texts produced, circulated, and consumed transnationally? Pursuing these questions, we aim to extend current debates on self-help and therapeutic culture. Self-help culture in Latin America remains severely understudied, in so far as relevant research has almost exclusively focused on the USA and Western Europe. In these contexts, the role of self-help in contemporary popular mass culture has predominantly been theorised in relation to individualisation (Giddens 1992), the increasing salience of pathologically narcissistic personality types in contemporary Western societies (Lasch 1991), and the emergence of cold, instrumental intimacies (Hochschild 2003; Illouz 2007). In contrast, our findings show that, in Latin America, a variety of alternative, so far underexplored forms of self-help discourse have acquired currency in relation to locally specific transformations of personal life in the context of globalisation and modernisation. Notably, for instance, individualistic discourses predicated upon notions of personal self-actualisation have achieved currency in urban Mexico and other parts of Latin America (Papalini 2008; Nehring 2009). Latin America constitutes an interesting setting for the study of transnational self help culture, given the regions exposure to the global culture industry through rapid globalisation and a re-orientation towards free-trade policies over the past three decades. Moreover, we argue that the socio-cultural significance of these discourses cannot be fully appreciated by focusing exclusively on their emergence, circulation, and consumption in particular local contexts. While virtually all previous studies have adopted such a local focus, it is important to understand self-help discourses as potentially

translocally, transregionally, and transnationally mobile and to analyse their permutations of meaning as they move between places. Our argument will proceed in three steps. First, expanding upon the preceding points, we will outline some salient findings as well as limitations in current research on self-help culture. On this base, we will then explore the transnational circulation of self-help discourses. Based on empirical research on the circulation of self-help products in Argentina and Mexico, we distinguish various patterns of local and translocal circulation parttially related to the normative stances taken in the texts. These points are then explored in further detail with a case study on the circulation of self-help texts in Mexico City. This study is grounded in empirical research conducted by the authors over the past six years. This involved the collection of a sample of several hundred self-help publications current in Latin America according to relevant indictators, the systematic charting of their trajectories of production and circulation, the narrative analysis of their content, so as to identify salient discursive patterns and a number of interviews to self-help readers, in order to explorate reception. Our objectives are mainly exploratory. We aim to draw attention to the aforementioned conceptual and empirical limitations in the study of self-help culture and build bridges for future respective research. The empirical findings presented in the following should not be understood as empirically generalisable evidence on the prevalence and modes of circualtion of different forms of therapeutic discourse in Latin America. Rather, they are meant to provide signposts and points of reference that may advance the debates on selfhelp beyond their current confines.

2. Global therapeutic culture: Findings and questions

To what extent therapeutic culture is a widespread process in the Western world? Which modulations of therapeutic discourse take place in different cultural contexts? Self-help books are, by themselves, a kind of literature that has emerged from the Anglo-Saxon cultural universe (Franklin 1793; Smiles 1859). They are imbricated with forms of individualistic capitalism that construct personal achievement as dependent on personal qualities of character (Rdinger 1995; McGee 2005) Nevertheless, these original features of self-help have been changing alongside social transformations over the past decade. In the 1950s, self-help books showed strong discursive affinities to Christian religion (Pale 1952), whereas in the 1960s and 1970s increasing affinities with New Age cosmogonies emerged (Papalini 2010). However, the processes that have led to the spread of self-help culture across the Western world are not homogenous and cannot easily be attributed to a convergence of cultural formations at the transnational leveli. Latin American realities are diverse, due to the syncretism of Catholic European and native cultural forms that has characterized the historical development of the region since the 16th centuryii, as well as the particular political, social, and economic conditions that have taken shape during this period. In this sense, the scene is clearly different from USA or Europe.. Research on therapeutic culture and self-help has so far largely remained confined to Anglophone North American and Western Europe. These limitations a predominant focus on the Global Northwest and a lack of detailed exploration of the validity of theoretical propositions in specific local contexts are evident in the high-profile theories of individualisation that have shaped sociological debates on therapeutic culture in the 1990s and 2000s (e.g. Illouz 2007). Considering the impact of contemporary forms of modernisation and globalisation on personal life, individualisation theories commonly emphasise the disembedding of intimate relationships from regulating traditions and

ascribed bonds, individuals' unmediated exposure to the forces of markets and state, the opportunity and need for individuals to reflexively fashion selves from a variety of discourses and lifestyles, and the increasingly brittle, instrumental, and 'cold' forms of attachment (cf. Smart 2007, 17ff.). These theories either explicitly focus on parts of the Global Northwest (e.g. the USA, Germany, Great Britain) or make claims as to their international generalisability they fail to substantiate. For instance, Illouzs (Illouz 2007; Illouz 2008) recent high-profile work on therapeutic culture and emotional capitalism is explicitly based on a convergence theory of globalisation, i.e. the assumption that the spread of therapeutic culture tends to be played out in a similar fashion in disparate social settings in the context of the homogenising forces of globalisation. However, her argument largely is confined to the USA, and her examination of therapeutic culture in Israel, which is meant to substantiate this claim, remains perfunctory. An explanation for the outlined limitations lies in a number of notable disjunctions in academic research on intimate life. In her trenchant critique of individualisation theories, Carol Smart (Smart 2007, 8) highlights a tension in the sociology of personal life between generalising theoretical works and small-scale, empirically focused studies. Regarding the latter, she argues:
"None of these studies can ever hope to 'prove' or 'disprove' the grand explanation, but they can either bolster or chip away at their credibility. In the main their efforts go unnoticed by the grander theoreticians. This is because general theories (and their authors) do not claim to explain 'detail'. So to complain that they misrepresent specific families, or that they oversimplify family life and relationships, is really only to state the obvious. Yet such theorizations do have to be challenged because they are not simply free-floating ideas, they have an influence on the kinds of sociological understanding which come to predominate and on the wider political and policy processes which take such depictions and explanations as truths around which policy decisions should be framed [...]." (Smart 2007, 9)

Smart here raises an important issue, which leads her to a theoretical proposal that emphasises the localising situatedness of personal relationships over globalising developmental trends. However, she does not explore a central aspect of the overall problematic: Social research on intimacies and personal life has traditionally remained

divided along disciplinary and geographical lines. Sociologists have by and large been preoccupied with the problematic consequences of modernity in the 'developed' societies of the Global Northwest (Gutirrez Rodrguez, Boatca et al. 2010). Meanwhile, empirical research outside the Global Northwest has been confined to anthropology and area and development studies or just received little attention by Western sociologists. Agendasetting and widely circulating sociological theories have tended to be exclusively based on the analysis of social processes that are particular to Europe and Anglophone North America. Thus, the social processes recently dominant individualisation theorists have described tend to be particular to these small parts of the world, with few efforts being made to chart divergent modes of development and change elsewhere. Referring to therapeutic culture without a detailed specification of the structural conditions within which therapeutic discourses take shape, circulate, and are consumed in everyday life may suggest that all sorts of problems are may be resolved in purely individual terms, as if social patterns across the Western world by and large to those of the North American and Western European central countries. Instead, examining national contexts of therapeutic discourse with more detail, we can notice different problems and different proposals for their resolution adapted to fit each case. In self-help books, local authors fit the pieces together, appropriating generic topics and matching them to their culture and social conditions. Following Smarts arguments, it is useful to consider the specific structure of social relationships in Latin America and its impact on the forms of therapeutic discourse prevalent in the region. To state the obvious, Latin America forms of social association differ notably from those in the Anglosaxon and French social worlds (Castel 1995, Rosanvallon 1995). Even the hypothesis of negative individualism should be discussed: large families, Catholic cultural traditions, politics based on affective bonds, and the

dialectic of formalism and informalism, just to name a few important aspects of Latin American iterations of modernity (Larrain 2000), provide initial indications that individualisation, if the concept can be meaningfully applied here, must have a particular, idiosyncratic meaning. Nonetheless, the success of self-help books frequently understood as a marker of late modern individualisation is evident in Latin America as much as in other parts of the Western world (Papalini 2008). It is, nonetheless, rash to support the individualisation thesis within the distinctive socio-cultural frames of Latin America: European or US-style individualisation theories amount to unsatisfactory explanations for the rise of therapeutic culture in the region. In this sense, in the present study, we seek to demonstrate how transnational flows of therapeutic discoureses are modulated by locally specific socio-cultural patterns. The analysis of the circulation of self-help books, in this sense, provides a rich approach to better understand what the transnationalization of culture might mean, in so far as the interaction of local and translocal cultural processes can be clearly made visible in this cultural field. Less demanding in technological terms, the publishing industry needs smaller investments than other cultural industries, favoring national production and the recognition of popular preferences in terms of language, authors, and genres. The enquiry of the publishing market highlights many respective issues to be considered. Transnationalisation is, from our point of view, an irregular process of renewal of cultural production schemas in the context of global cultural diversification and decentralisation (Ortiz Crespo 1999). This process has certain origins and focal points where patterns are defined. While not conforming to the rigidity of the centre-periphery hierarchies of dependency theories, transnational cultural trends often begin in the Global Northwest, the global success of the US media industry being one case in point (Mattelart 2002), and the international spread of psychotherapy in its various forms being another (Papalini

2007; Nehring 2009; Papalini 2010). The permutations transnational therapeutic self-help narratives acquire in Latin American societies and the characteristics of idiosyncratic Latin American forms of self-help will be the subject matter of the following sections.

3. Transnational cultural flows of therapeutic discourses

Self-help books in Latin America In Latin America, the growth of this literature can be considered in terms of the increase of publications and the readers preferences. The number of published titles in Latin America corresponding to the category generalities, where these titles are included, increased by more than 60% in the two years between 2004 and 2006.

Table 1. Number of titles by categories published in Latin America 2004, 2005 & 2006
Category Literature (novels, biographies) Generalities *** Social Sciences * Law, Religion Education ** Schoolbooks Geography, History, Travel Guides Arts, Enterteinment & Sports Technology & Applied Sciences **** Medicine Basic Sciences Childrens & Teens Economy Langues, Lingistics Management, 2004 11,466 6,286 4,888 4,140 4,322 3,714 3,554 3,110 2,792 1,551 2,021 1,953 2,540 1,283 1.,50 1,048 2005 14,351 9,238 6,471 6,443 5,069 4,864 4,768 3,731 3,724 3,327 3,211 2,898 2.777 1,780 1,628 1,612 2006 16,318 10,159 6,410 7,260 4,607 6,131 3,992 4,982 4,976 2,676 3,577 3,114 2,712 1,876 2,242 1,551

Business, Investing Philosophy Schoolbooks Secondary level Psychology Agriculture, Fishing, Cattle Farming Astrology, Parapsichology Computers & Internet Non-clasified Total

1,918 1,125 1,097 905 821 439 12,144 74,267

1,456 1,348 1,313 1,021 867 568 2,073 84,538

1,691 1,136 1,669 1,346 921 740 8,816 98,902

Source: El espacio iberoamericano del libro. SIER/ CERLALC, informe 2008. Agencias Nacionales ISBN. Base de datos SIER-CERLALC. April 2007. * Economy, Education & Law are not included **School Books are not included. ***It includes: Self-help, Self-improvement; Health, Body & Mind, Diets & Nutrition, Beauty, Fitness & Welness, References,Parenting & Families, Home & Garden Cooking, & Food. Computers & Internet are not included.. **** Agriculture, Fishing, Cattle Farming & Medicine are not included.

This trend is more pronounced in some countries. A report from the SIERC/CERLALC indicates that: in Spain, Colombia and Mexico, the biggest amount of titles are produced in the general interest subsection, whose percentage participation increased in the three countries with respect to the year 2004. Meanwhile, the production of scientific, technical and profesional texts has decreased (2008, 108).As regards the sales of self-help texts, the commentary offered by bussinesmen as well and readers coincides:
For the group of editorials and suppliers that answered the survey the most dynamic segments were those of self-help and personal overcoming texts (66% of editorials and suppliers report an increase in the sales of these segments), school texts in English (65%), and children and young literature (65%). [] Through this survey, this organization itself asked for the preferences of the readers: apart form books of literary content, other topics can be identified as those for which the people polled manifested preferences: The Social Sciences, the generalities, and the topics on religion. The Social Sciences become quite relevant due to the reading at school and in university. Among the generalities, self-help books are the most read, especially by women and people of a medium and high socioeconomic level. Finally, religious books are frequently read in Latin American countries. They are particularly relevant in comparison with other contents, like in the case of the Dominican Republic and Brasil. The Chilean people mainly read novels (46, 6%) and self- help books (8, 6%) (). In Mexico, 42, 5% generally read school texts, the 22% read History, the 18, 7% novels, the 16% reads personal overcoming books, and the 14, 7% reads biograophies. (SIER/CERLALC 2008, 126; 232-233)


The diversity of topics and writing styles in the self-help genre favour a quick multiplication of new titles and facilitate their circulation in the global market. Given the internationalisation of the market and the long-standing popularity of self-help products in the USA (McGee 2005), self-help books are in many cases translations of Englishlanguage titles originally written for Anglophone North American audiences. Although there are no specific numbers that allow us to identify the importance of translations, there exist some countries in which their importance is greater. English was the language most translated in Brazil, Colombia and Spain. Its representativeness varies from the 46% to the 64% of the total number of titles translated from other languages into the national one. Other languages translated were French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese." (SIER/CERLALC 2008, 109) Publishing conventions make it easy to trace self-help texts to their original site of publication and to discover biographical details of their authors, including their nationality. These pieces of information constitute a central initial base for tracing the circulation of self-help narratives and analysing the interaction of globalising and localising cultural trends in its context. In order to analyze the transnational flow of therapeutic discourses, we take into account listed best sellers in a board of four Latin American countries Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The information was gathered in five different moments of the year, every three months: December 2007, March 2008, July 2008, September 2008 and December 2008. There are no official reliable data that disaggregate the best sellers per title. Some organizations of the editorial sector we consulted offered global numbers of sales per genre. In order to reduce the complexity of our analysis, we focused on information from only one source, the AP Agency. In general, the data compiled by AP result from queries to one or two big libraries in the capital city of each country studied.

The validity of the resulting data is difficult to establish. However, it does offer a significant indicator as to our subject matter. Our analysis focused on two variables: The nationality of the author and the genre of the texts. These variables, in combination, allow us to observe some notable tendencies. The first variable is meant to provide us with analytical purchase on the globalization strategies employed in the publishing industry and the importance of national and regional cultural trends in the editorial market. The author's nationality allows us to observe the flow of translations, the cultural importance of the Latin American, and the preferences for certain linguistic and thematic modalities that correspond to particular national spheres. As can be seen in the following diagrams notable respective differences exist. Diagram 1: Argentina. Nationality of Best-sellers writers. December 2007 to December 2008

Argentina Nationality of the Best-sellers writers

8 32 50 10

Latin American National Spanish & Portuguese

As the preceding chart shows, 50% of the authors most read in Argentina are national authors. The preference for local writers is the biggest in Latin America, and it coincides with data from the Regional Statistical Service of Information from the UNESCO that highlight the recovery of national production levels after a period of economic crisis (www.cerlalc.org). Considering a larger sample, the list of 20 national best-sellers in

2009, we can note a notable interest in self-help books and the aforementioned preference for national authors: In the best-seller ranking, three self-help books by national writers appear: Gente txica, by Bernado Stamateas; El combustible espiritual, by Ari Paluch and Historias de divn, by Gabriel Roln (Perfil, 2010).

Diagram 2: Chile. Nationality of Best-sellers writers. December 2007 to December 2008

Chile Nationality of the Best-sellers writers

6 24 8 62

Latin American National Spanish & Portuguese

In the case of Chile, the presence of non-Latin American authors is the highest of the group, despite the fact that one of the most famous Latin America writers, Isabel Allende, is Chilean. Here, as in Argentina, there is a generation of young writers with their own weight. The relative weight of books by Latin American authors writing in Spanish and Portuguese is the lowest of the group.

Diagram 3: Colombia. Nationality of Best-sellers writers. December 2007 to December 2008

Colombia Nationality of the Best-Sellers writers

14 30 8

Latin American National Spanish & Portuguese


Colombia has a strong editorial industry, whose size is similar to that Argentina. Exports of this publishing industry are strong, not only regarding translations, but also of works of national authors. On the other hand, the market for international best-sellers does not seem particularly sizeable: It is the country that shows the smallest proportion of foreign authors. Diagram 4: Mexico. Nationality of Best-sellers writers. December 2007 to December 2008

Mexico Nationality of the Best-sellers writers

2 38 14 46

Latin American National Spanish & Portuguese

The case of Mexico contrasts notably with that of Colombia. Not long ago, the Mexican production of books had an impact on the entire Latin American region. This situation changed radically, in part in the context of the advent of NAFTA, and the penetration of

US authors and genres indicates that globalization plays a crucial role, though it is less central than in Chile. The nationality of the most read authors is not necessarily an expression of national cultures' own features: Writing genres, however, provide evidence of the character of the editorial industry worldwide, operating in the same way as franchises or the reproduction of imported TV formats by national actors. In the global culture industry, the native" can be considered a puppet of foreign scripts. Data on the editorial market thus allow us to observe certain significant tendencies in the publication and consumption of self-help texts across various Latin American countries. The information presented here aims to uncover readers' preferences regarding authors nationality and literary genre. Both variables make it possible to address the question of local cultures and the force of globalization.

4. Case study: Global and local self-help in Mexico City Self-help culture in Mexico In this section, we will provide some insights into Mexican self-help culture. Specifically, we will offer a reading of a sample of self-help books and magazines gathered in Mexico City between 2004 and 2008 as manifestations of different cultural logics of couple relationships. We will also look at these publications trajectories of production and circulation from authors via publishing houses to sales points and potential readers in order to explore ways in which their content might be related to processes of globalisation and transnational cultural flows. This case study is meant to further substantiate our previous arguments and explore the association between self-help texts trajectories of publication and consumption and the belief systems they advocate.

The development of self-help movements and their cultural context in Mexico have hardy received any attention so far (Nehring 2009; Nehring 2011). In order to gather some information on self-help in Mexico and its relationship to contemporary changes in gender relations, we consulted several scholars working in the area of family, gender, and sexualities studies. While their observations about the development of self-help culture in recent decades are not grounded in systematic research, they still offer some important insights. The diversity of self-help texts circulating in Mexico was captured well by Gloria Gonzlez-Lpez, whose research has contributed important insights into contemporary formations of intimacies among Mexicans:
My experience with self-help discourses is based on what I witnessed as a teenager back in the 1970s, as someone who was born and raised in Northern Mexico. As a curious teenager who was alert to popular culture, especially magazines and books, I remember reading "Tus Zonas Erroneas" by Dr. Wayne Dyer [] a translation of a famous self-help book published in USA. That book was sold in Sanborn's, along with other self-help books that were published in the USA and then translated shortly after. Though I don't know if those books were sold in other parts of the country, in Monterrey they became popular and they became part of people's attempts to buy some texts to take care of personal concerns... self-help books became an accessible and somehow cheap way to have access to psychological knowledge that made promises of healing, self-empowerment and some avenues leading to personal growth. At some point, I think, Mexicans mimicked those US produced publications, and Mexican books started to be published: "Como mejorar su autoestima en 60 dias" [How to improve your self-esteem in 60 days] is a title that I remember and that reflected some of the repetitive messages I kept seeing since then: Como mejorar... Como superar.... Como convertirse... Como alcanzar... so How, How, How to achieve specific goals was part of the messages people were exposed to... this was what circulated back then, and I think we still have them... these texts became good hooks to audiences who were looking for possibilities to change and improve their well-being, their living conditions. I think these texts have reflected what society has been experiencing in terms of gender relations, but also, changes in gender relations have shaped these texts. In other ways, it also became some kind of a two-way street: US (white heterosexual middle class) self-help books have shaped people's ways of feeling about a wide variety of topics (sex, intimacy, family life, relationships, self-image, etc) but also Mexicans (especially writers) have mimicked or assimilated ways to produce new texts that could potentially become as successful as those books originally published in English.. (Gloria Gonzlez-Lpez; personal e-mail communication; March 20, 2007)

This statement points, among other factors, to the glocalised constitution of self-help culture in Mexico, with transnationally circulating texts from the USA being used by readers in Northeast Mexico to address their localised needs and localised Mexican selfhelp formats emerging in relation to the popularity of their US counterparts. This

concerns particularly Gloria Gonzlezs suggestion of an interpenetration of localised, white, US, middle-class, heterosexual logics of intimacy with the respective issues and concerns in Mexican society. Also, Gonzlez points to a localised reception of self-help texts, for instance in the particular cultural context of the Northeastern city of Monterrey to which she refers:
I think that [the popular Mexican self-help author] Cuauhtemoc Sanchez and others then became part of this marketing of some type of collective / socially constructed but individually experienced discourse of "superacion personal" [literally overcoming the self, or self-improvement; D.N.] especially in Monterrey, a place where this has been linked to social and local cultural scripts that combine this discourse of "superacion personal" with achieving high educational goals and financial success through an ethic of hard work--all of them leading to a collective goal of achievement of personal happiness. These texts became part of this path to achieve some kind of dream. The danger is when the ideologies promoted as part of this process end up reproducing many forms of inequality (sexism, classism, racism, homophobia) -- all connected to conservative moralities. (Gloria Gonzlez-Lpez; personal e-mail communication; March 20, 2007)

According to this statement, there might be particular communities of interpretation of self-help texts, for instance in the context of the ethic of hard work and material achievement that are characteristic of the city of Monterrey and other parts of the Northeast. This idea points towards the the globalised character of self-help texts in Mexican society, with general self-help formats being read and interpreted in particular, localised contexts. Gloria Gonzlezs testimony also underlines many Mexicans willingness throughout the last four decades to draw on this diverse genre as a possible source of personal development and well-being in times of social change. These findings illustrate at least to some extent the diversity of the self-help materials currently circulating in Mexican society, as well as their cultural significance as manifestations of different cultural logics of individual agency and life management in contemporary Mexico. Following Gloria Gonzlezs statement, the popularity of the self-help genre might be related to Mexicans interest in them as an accessible source of personal development and support. Her

statement also supports our preceding point about the social significance of self-help texts in recent changes in gender relations both as their manifestation and as active influence on womens and mens way of understanding related topics. However, the widespread presence of self-help texts in urban settings in certain cases also might be related to the interest of various political, social, and religious groups in fomenting certain kinds of discourses on matters of intimate life (Gonzlez Ruiz 1998; Gonzlez Ruiz 2002). Our research has revealed certain links of this kind in some cases, in which authors affiliated with particular groups, have used self-help texts as a medium for advocating their ideas. For instance, the conservative text The challenges for todays woman [Los Retos de la Mujer de Hoy], which emphasises, on the base of Biblical arguments, the need to maintain a patriarchal family model, can be traced via its publisher Ediciones Las Amricas to a network of internationally active Protestant fundamentalist groups. Lorenzo da Firenzes book The feminist conspiracy [La Conspiracin Feminista] is tied directly to the social movement La Marcha Masculina led by the author, which opposes a supposed increasing discrimination of men in various spheres of social life in relation to the spread of feminist creeds, labelled as a feminist conspiracy by the author. Apart from advertising this book, da Firenzes movement, for example, also organises a yearly male pride march in Mexico City and provides legal advice to men who claim to have suffered discrimination based on their gender on its webpage [www.lamarchamasculina.com; access date March 18, 2007]. Da Firenze through his book and his other activities advocates social changes and the establishment of a male resistance movement to counter the supposed feminist conspiracy. Gloria Gonzlezs testimony is suggestive of the emergence of the self-help genre in Mexico over the last decades. This point was also discussed in detail by Rosario Esteinou, one of the leading Mexican scholars in the area of family research:

I think that the content of self-help texts [in Mexico] has changed over the years. In the past, around the 1950s and 1960s, self-help books had a symbolic content strongly influenced by Catholicism. These were texts written by people committed to this religion, and the suggestions and proposals they offered were adjusted to this Christian framework. Since the 1970s, self-help texts have shown a greater variety in terms of their content, from those inspired by Buddhism to those driven by the values of a free market economy and those psychological [texts] that glorify individualism. [] I think that these self-help texts do not offer by themselves an explicit repertoire of solutions or suggestions regarding the resolution of gender differences and inequalities. Nevertheless, they have contributed indirectly to this through the exaltation of individualism and the search for personal fulfilment. [] (Rosario Esteinou; personal e-mail communication; February 9, 2007)

This statement complements the preceding ones by pointing to the gradual diversification of the cultural logics manifest in self-help texts, moving from a fairly uniform Christian ideological framework to more diverse principles, such as Buddhism and free-market individualism. Based on this general overview of self-help culture, we will now go on to look in detail at the sample of self-help texts gathered in Mexico City, beginning with their trajectories of production and circulation. We selected 19 books and 13 magazines providing advice on couple relationships and sexuality for analysis. In the magazines, we examined in detail only those sections containing self-help material on relationships. Of each magazine, we gathered between one and four copies. For instance, due to its clear focus on self-help matters, we purchased four different editions of the magazine I [Yo]. Therefore, in total, our sample contains 39 documents, i.e. 19 books and 20 copies of different magazines. In so far as magazine content is not selected randomly, but according to predetermined and relatively stable editorial guidelines, it may be presumed that the issues we analysed appropriately reflect the cultural logics underlying the magazine as a whole. As mentioned, important distinctions can be made between the texts in terms of their trajectories. By trajectories we understand, first, the context of production of the texts in terms of the origin and background of their authors and publishers. Second, this notion concerns the texts circulation in terms of the localities in which they are sold, their possibly locally specific target audiences and the degree to which the texts have been

adapted to them. Third, the concept of trajectories concerns the cultural origin of identifiable belief systems in the texts. Looking at the backgrounds of authors in this way seems important as it will allow some statements regarding the association between their international involvement or the apparent lack thereof on the one hand and, on the other hand, the kind of values and belief systems reflected in the different texts. Equally, the degree of localisation of the texts circulation and the operations of their publishing companies might be significant in terms of the constitution and socio-cultural context of reference of the belief systems contained in the texts. It is possible to distinguish between four types of trajectories, as shown in diagram 1. First, there are entirely Mexican trajectories, in which texts are apparently produced and circulated solely in Mexico. Second, there are Mexican international trajectories, in which texts are written by Mexican authors and published in Mexico, but circulate and are consumed more widely, for instance in the USA. Third, there are transnational adapted trajectories, in which books and magazines circulate internationally but are produced with locally specific audiences in mind. Fourth, there are transnational unadapted trajectories, in which documents are produced in one particular local and cultural context and circulated internationally without context-specific adaptations. This distinction is based on a comparison of the documents in terms of their context of production and circulation, with the third relevant dimension the identifiable belief systems in the texts blurring the limits of each group to a considerable extent. We will now look at each group in turn.

Diagram 5: Self-help publications by trajectory group

Number of publications
7 7

Entirely Mexican 2 Mexican International Transnational Adapted Transnational Unadapted


Entirely Mexican trajectories This sub-sample comprises 10 out of the 39 texts in our sample; 5 magazines and 5 books. The defining features of this group is that all these texts, first, are produced by locally based authors and publishers and that, second, there is no indication of their circulation or widespread reception beyond Mexico. Regarding their context of production, it is notable that many of their authors seem to be fairly localised in terms of their traceable background regarding national origin, education, work etc.. The authorial teams of the magazines different issues of I and Fernanda are based completely in Mexico City according to the magazines editorial notes, and there is no indication of any transnational cooperation in the writing of the magazines content. Among the self-help books, things are slightly different. For example, Elizabeth Cant de Mrquez, the author of The challenges for todays woman, is, according to the books cover, locally active in Mexico in the management of a publishing company and in religious groups, but there are no indications of any transnational professional, religious, or other involvement In contrast, Jessica

Kreimerman Lew and Lorenzo da Firenze, the authors of Life in pink, the blue prince [La vida en rosa, el principe azul] respectively The feminist conspiracy have a much more international background. According to her books cover, Kreimerman received her education at Arizona State University and has worked since then for a variety of news media, for instance in the USA and Israel. Equally, the online biography of da Firenze (http://www.inventoralaurentius.com/biografia.htm) refers to a variety of professional activities in the USA and Canada. Maybe the most important characteristic of all the texts in this group is that their publishing companies Editorial Televisa, Grupo Medios, Inventora Laurentius, Grupo Resistencia, and alamah autoayuda, a part of the Alfaguara group are based in Mexico, and there is no indication at all of their circulation outside the country. While most of the texts in our sample are available internationally in different ways, such as their sale through online bookshops or through newsagents and shops in different countries, this does not seem to be the case for any of the mentioned texts. Furthermore, many of them seem to be produced for a locally specific Mexican audience. For instance, Jessica Kreimermans Life in pink, the blue prince is written explicitly as a critique of a supposedly false myth of love in the context of Mexican patriarchy. Conversely, da Firenzes Feminist Conspiracy provides a critique of the allegedly socially destructive influences of feminism. Da Firenze appears to be the owner of the books publishing company (www.inventoralaurentius.com), whose webpage is tied in, as mentioned before, with the pages of an anti-feminist social movement, the Masculine March (www.lamarchamasculina.com), also led by the author with the aim of resuscitating Mexican machismo. In a similar way, Elizabeth Cant de Mrquezs The challenges for todays woman specifically deals with threats to Mexican womens identity, supposedly

defined by their Catholicism, in the context of processes of globalisation and the spread of feminism.

Mexican international trajectories In a similar way, the 20 books and magazines with Mexican international trajectories are characterised by mostly locally based authors and contexts of reference of their publications. However, as shown in tables 19 to 21 in the appendix, their publishing houses tend to have a much more international profile, and there is clear evidence of the international circulation of the texts themselves. As in the first group of particularly localised, Mexican texts, most texts in this category have authors or authorial teams with apparently very local backgrounds. For instance, Dr. Ernesto Lammoglia, the author of The relationship: Choice or deception [El noviazgo: eleccin o decepcin?], a book on the psycho-social pitfalls of long-term relationships, was, according to the books editorial note, born and educated in Mexico, where he is also currently practicing as a therapist, author, and contributor to radio programmes. Equally, the editorial teams of most of the magazines we analysed seem to be clearly localised. For example, both Eres Pocket, published by the globally operating Mexican Televisa media group (http://www.esmas.com/editorialtelevisa/), and Twentysomething [Veintitantos], edited since 1994 by the publishing company Notmusa (http://www.notmusa.com.mx/), are according to their editorial notes written by authorial teams based in Mexico City. As to the texts publishers, this text group contains a mix of Mexico City-based publishing companies, such as the Grupo Editorial Impresiones Areas, which issues the magazine Young Wife [Esposa Jven], and the already mentioned company Notmusa, publisher of the magazine 15 to 20 [15 a 20]. However, a number of the publishers are embedded much more strongly into transnational editorial circuits. The companies Lumen

and Grijalbo, for example, both form part of the international group Random House Mondadori, which is controlled by the German Bertelsmann Corporation and the Italian Mondadori (http://www.randomhousemondadori.com/eng/index.htm). In any case, a feature of all the texts in this group is their international circulation. All books are internationally available in Spanish through a variety of bookshops, for instance via internet order, while the magazines, for example according to their price labels in Mexican Pesos and US Dollars, are issued for sale both in Mexico and the USA. In terms of their cultural context of reference, the texts in this group are somewhat heterogeneous. On the one hand, a number of them, such as Peter Millers 7 Keys to Happiness in the Couple [7 Claves de la felicidad en la pareja] do not contain any specific cultural references and limit themselves to general assertions about the supposed nature of relationships. On the other hand, a substantial number of the texts make specific reference to the social situation and values of Mexican society. Notable in this regard are the self-help novels of Carlos Cuauhtmoc Snchez and Gildy Bardavid, whose setting are reminiscent of any big Mexican metropolis Bardavid makes explicit reference of Mexico City and which, in the case of the works of Cuauhtmoc Snchez, repeatedly make comparisons between local (Christian) values and the intrusion of other (liberal-secular) values from the USA.

Transnational adapted and unadapted trajectories The panorama among the nine texts with transnational adapted and unadapted trajectories is somewhat different from that of the previous two groups. The international, heterogeneous profiles of the authors in these two groups constitutes their most important difference from the Mexcian international group: The two volumes of the relationship manual How a man loves a woman [Cmo un hombre ama a una

mujer], for example, were written by Steve Vinay Gunther, an Australian psychotherapist (http://www.goodtherapy.com.au/ steve_vinay_gunther). The parenting guidebook Do I want to be A mom? [Realmente quiero tener hijos?] was put together by Diana Dell and Suzan Erem, a therapist and a medical doctor from the USA. Finally, the magazine Practical Psychology [Psicologa Prctica] contains contributions by an authorial team with backgrounds in Spain, Argentina, and Colombia. Equally, the publishing companies involved in the production of these texts have a variety of international backgrounds. For instance, Globus Communication, the publisher of Practical Psychology and Improve your relationship life [Mejora tu vida en pareja] is based in Spain, the Northern Rivers Gestalt Institute, producer of How a man loves a woman, has its seat in Australia, and the group Norma, which publishes Do I want to be a mom? is based in various countries throughout the Americas (www.norma.com). As in the Mexican international group, the books and magazines with transnational trajectories circulate widely at an international level. For example: How a man loves a woman is internationally available, for instance through online bookshops, in Spanish and English versions with identical covers. Practical Psychology, according to its price labels, is sold in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, the UK, Morocco, Greece, and Mexico. The Mexican version of the internationally sold Cosmopolitan is produced by an editorial team based partially in Florida and partially in Mexico and seems to correspond largely to a generalised Hispanic version of the magazine (www.cosmoenespanol.com). In so far as the books and magazines with transnational trajectories were written by authors with very heterogeneous international backgrounds and also circulate very widely, the question of these texts adaptation to specific socio-cultural contexts becomes especially important. There are, on the one hand, two texts, the magazines Elle and Cosmopolitan, which are locally adapted and produced in special editions for a Mexican

audience. Elle, for instance, is identified specifically on its cover as Elle Mxico, and it is, just as Cosmopolitan, written by an editorial team partially based in Mexico City. On the other hand, most of the transnational publications we found remain unadapted; they are either sold unchanged in different countries or they are simply translated from English into Spanish. For example, the magazines Practical Psychology and Improve your relationship life are clearly not adapted to Mexican audiences and sold in the same form they have in Spain. This is indicated, among other points, by their usage of grammatical forms of Spanish which are not in use in Mexico and by reference in the editorial notes to single, not locally specific, authorial teams. Similarly, the Mexican versions of Do I want to be a mom? and How a man loves a woman, according to their editorial notes, are simply translations of the English originals.

Comparison the significance of different belief systems to the texts trajectories The preceding analysis of the trajectories of our sample of self-help documents has highlighted the ways in which most of these texts are embedded in heterogeneous ways into circuits of globalisation, in line with the general expert testimonies presented earlier on. The texts in the four groups we have just outlined vary considerably regarding the extent to which they refer mainly to a specifically Mexican panorama of couple relationships or rather provide sets of assumptions with differing local e.g. Spanish or US American contexts of reference. Furthermore, within each group, we have pointed to substantial variations in terms of, for instance, the degrees to which authors seem to have been exposed to different socio-cultural contexts or the extent to which the books and magazines make specific reference to particular issues of gender relations and couple relationships in Mexico. The evidence we have presented is not fully conclusive in so far as it does not allow us to trace particular cultural influences and understandings of couple

relationships from different authors and their backgrounds via locally or internationally operating publishing companies to the texts that are printed and ultimately sold. Much more comprehensive data would be required for this. However, our preceding points do suggest the conclusion that the public discussions on the ways in which couple relationships should or should not be understood, experienced, and practiced are not easily traceable to somehow localised, e.g. either Mexican or foreign/US American etc., homogeneous belief systems. Rather, the assertions and understandings about couple relationships manifest in the self-help literature we acquired in Mexico seem to be constructed in an interplay of voices with manifold backgrounds and trajectories, which are, with some exceptions, not easily categorised as Mexican, foreign, US American, European etc. This conclusion acquires further strength when the third mentioned dimension of the magazines and books trajectories is taken into account: their intellectual trajectories in terms of the identifiable concrete belief systems contained in the texts. Many of the texts in each of the four mentioned trajectory groups contain a wide variety of specifiable intellectual content religious beliefs, specific forms of psychology and psychotherapy, material produced in the disciplinary context of the social sciences etc. which they elaborate in different ways according to their particular contexts of reference and subject matters. This use of different belief systems furthermore cannot be mapped onto particular stances, viewpoints, or political orientations towards couple relationships they are systems used in relation to a wide variety of normative stances in various ways. These belief systems are only partially traceable in terms of their origins, and their widespread and heterogeneous use undercuts any attempt at neatly dividing them into different Mexican, non-Mexican, traditional, modern categories of belonging.

In relation to these tendencies, the texts can be arranged into three groups: First, there are conservative-patriarchal self-help texts, which are characterised by a mostly reactionary stance towards changes in gender relations in recent decades and the defence of patriarchal arrangements in couple relationships. Second, we discovered a group of conventionalist texts. Their authors acknowledge, to a certain extent, the mentioned social changes and the importance of egalitarian arrangements in couple relationships, while at the same time tending to accord exclusive legitimacy to normal heterosexual relationships in potentially lifelong marriage. The patriarchal-conservative and conventionalist texts thus emphasise to different degrees similar sets of normative precepts making substantive prescriptions for different aspects of relationships. Successful self-actualisation according to these texts lies completely or to a large extent in the adjustment of individual behaviour to universal moral standards derived implicitly or explicitly from tradition or religion. Third, WE found a large number of individualistic texts. These texts strongly acknowledge the importance of egalitarian, negotiable gender relations and the importance of individual autonomy within couple relationships. Their frame of reference, in contrast to the second group, is not the normal relationship; rather they explicitly or implicitly seem to acknowledge the equal legitimacy of a multiplicity of heterosexual or homosexual relationship forms. The normative underpinnings of these texts lie in the recognition of individual autonomy and the pursuit of personal fulfilment as general principles for successful lives and happy relationships. Rather than prescribing particular substantive ways of leading relationships, these texts propose formal techniques for the monitoring of the attitudes and actions of oneself and others and behavioural adjustments that enable individuals to autonomously define and pursue their goals for self-fulfilment within relationships.

We discovered a notable association between these three models of relationship management and the trajectory groups. With one single exception, the patriarchalconservative and conventionalist texts show entirely Mexican or Mexican international trajectories. In contrast, the individualistic texts are almost evenly split between Mexican and transnational trajectories. In other words, almost all of the texts with transnational trajectories are concentrated in the group of individualistic relationship models. The general significance of these proportions beyond our non-representative sample cannot clearly be ascertained. Nevertheless, it is possible to draw certain conclusions from our sample. Both the patriarchal-conservative and conventionalist texts seem to respond to localised concerns in Mexican society over changes in patterns of intimate life. Many of these texts make this evident with allusions to the traditions from which they derive their prescriptions, while in others locally specific cultural points of reference are implicit. There is little difference in this regard between the entirely Mexican and Mexican international publications, as the latter are not adapted to the concerns of international audiences. Similarly, it might be that Elle, the only transnational adapted publication in the conventionalist group was adjusted by its Latin American editorial team to perceived cultural sensibilities of its regional audiences. In contrast, the individualistic texts reflect liberalising and individualising tendencies in the private sphere both in Mexico and in transnational contexts. Of the texts with entirely Mexican and Mexican international trajectories, many make explicit reference to such changes in Mexico, such as The relationship: choice or deception. Others, such as the magazines Twentysomething and I, just seem to presume that their understanding of relationships reflects the cultural mainstream in contemporary urban Mexico. This might be similar for Cosmopolitan, the only transnational-adapted text in this group. The transnational unadapted texts were imported to Mexico from the USA, Australia, and

Western Europe, and they seem to reflect in slightly different ways the trends towards individualisation, pure relationships and the autonomous pursuit of individual fulfilment through intimate relationships analysed by authors such as Beck and Beck-Gernsheim (1995) or Giddens (1992).

5. Conclusion Our preceding analysis highlights several points significant for future research on therapeutic culture and self-help. The composition of our sample does not facilitate Nevertheless, it is posible to draw some conclusions concerning the flows of different types of self-help in Latin American and beyond. The transnational mobility of therapeutic discourses has been acknowledged by scholars in the Global Northwest. Nevertheless, this transnational mobility has always remained a contextual factor in studies focused on particular local settings, typically the USA and Western Europe (cf. Lasch 1991; Illouz 2008). This article presents, for the first time, empirical evidence that gives substance to the characterisation of therapeutic culture as a transnational phenomenon. While our findings are confined to the case of self-help books in several Latin American countries, they nevertheless may be seen as a base upon which other forms of therapeutic culture in different regions of the world can be explored. Our findings suggest an understanding of self-help as a hybrid, simultaneously global and local cultural phenomenon. A significant proportion of the authors and publishing houses whose books were sold in the analysed countries were not based in these same countries and operated transnationally. However, in the Argentine case, the most popular self-help writers are local, and they keep many bonds with the media. The great popularity of the Mexican author Carlos Cuauhtmoc Snchez throughout Latin America and among Latinos in the USA in this regard serves as a case in point. However, a substantial share

of publishers and authors operated within specific national boundaries. For instance, many of the most conservative self-help texts found in Mexico did not seem to circulate outside the country and appear to address cultural problematics specific to Mexican society. On the whole, it might be argued that the transnationalisation of therapeutic discourses is, in the case of the analysed self-help books, modulated by the points of contact or affinity that can be established with specific national cultures. The success of Carlos Cuauhtmoc Snchez, in this sense, might be explained through the fact that his works address moral preoccupations, e.g. regarding the role of religion and family as central pillars of society, that are common among Latin Americans, due to their shared historical and cultural roots. Conversely, the fact that US self-help bestsellers, such as Harriet Rubins The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women circulate and are sold in Mexico might, tentatively, be taken to indicate at least some cultural affinity with the cold individualism (Illouz 2007) manifest in Rubins book. In other words, the simultaneously local and transnational circulation of self-help products in Latin America seems to manifest cultural trends that are both locally specific and cut across national borders. In our findings, transnational patterns of circulation resulted more powerful among self-help texts on work than among guidebooks on couple relationships and intimate life. The rapid proliferation of neoliberal poltico-economic reforms of working life has had a severe impact on populations across the American continent. In contrast, while transformations of personal life across the Western world might reflect to some extent a globalising trend towards individualisation, their cultural and moral dynamics have remained closely localised (Nehring 2011). Nevertheless, the transnational proliferation of normative models of intimate life, exemplified by the cited Fundamentalist Protestant self-help work of Elizabeth Cant, must not be ignored.

These findings do not allow us to formulate statements as to the effects of different selfhelp and therapeutic discourses among the populations in which they are consumed. They do, however, enable us to formulate a set of questions that may serve as an agenda for future research. To begin with, the transnational circulation of self-help products and other forms of therapeutic discourse needs to be substantiated through further research in Latin America and beyond? To what extent, how, and why do self-help products circulate nationally, transnationally, or globally? We have also highlighted a diversity of self-help discourses that goes far beyond the broadly individualistic therapeutic narratives documented by recent high-profile research. Christian fundamentalist self-help, for instance, has so far received hardly any attention. What are, therefore, the different forms of self-help discourse that are salient at the international level? Moreover, the relationship between the transnational circulation of self-help texts and their consumption by readers in specific socio-cultural contexts has so far not been explored at all. How do readers draw on different forms of self-help narratives, e.g. contextually specific and unspecific ones, to make sense of and organise their everyday lives? We hope that, through these questions, a research agenda can be established that will lead to a fuller understanding of therapeutic culture as a truly transnational phenomenon.

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Hochschild, A. R. (2003). The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work. Berkeley, University of California Press. Illouz, E. (2007). Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. Cambridge, Polity Press. Illouz, E. (2008). Saving the Modern Soul: Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of SelfHelp. Berkeley, University of California Press. Larrain, J. (2000). Identity and Modernity in Latin America. Cambridge, Polity Press. Lasch, C. (1991). The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations. New York, W.W. Norton & Company. Mattelart, A. (2002). "An archaeology of the global era: constructing a belief." Media, Culture & Society 24: 591-612. McGee, M. (2005). Self-Help. Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Mignolo, W. (2005). The Idea of Latin America. Malden, Blackwell Publishing. Nehring, D. (2009). "Cultural models of intimate life in contemporary urban Mexico: a review of self-help texts." Delaware Review of Latin American Studies 10(2). Nehring, D. (2011). "Intimate Citizenship, Cultural Change, and Conservative Self-Help Texts in Contemporary Mexico." Kentucky Journal of Anthropology and Sociology forthcoming. Ortiz Crespo, G. (1999). En el alba del milenio: globalizacin y medios de comunicacin en Amrica Latina. Quito, Universidad Andina Simn Bolvar, Sede Ecuador. Pale, N. (1952, 1968) The Power of Positive Thinking. Surrey, The Worlds Work. Paluch, A. (2008) El combustible espiritual. Buenos Aires, Paids. Papalini, V. (2007). "Literatura de autoayuda: una subjetividad del S-Mismo enajenado." La trama de la Comunicacin 11: 331-342. Papalini, V. (2008). Sucedneos de felicidad. Miradas. Cultura y subjetividad en la Argentina finisecular. M. A. Minelli. Crdoba, Editorial Alcin. Papalini, V. (2010). "Libros de autoayuda: Biblioterapia para la felicidad." Athenea Digital 19: 147-169. Roln, G. (2009) Historias de divn. Buenos Aires, Planeta Rdinger, F. (1995). Literatura de Autoajuda e Individualismo. Porto Alegre, Editora da Universidade, Universidad de Rio Grande do Sul. Smart, C. (2007). Personal life : new directions in sociological thinking. Cambridge, Polity Press. Smiles, S. (1859) Self-help. London. Extracted from www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/935. 12/03/2007 Stamateas, B. (2008). Gente txica. Buenos Aires, Vergara Other sources cited: SIER/ CERLALC (2008) El espacio iberoamericano del libro. Extracted from http://www.cerlalc.org/secciones/libro_desarrollo/El_espacio_iberoamericano.pdf. 05/07/2009. ttp://www.diarioperfil.com.ar/edimp/0430/articulo.php?art=18993&ed=0430 y http://www.diarioperfil.com.ar/edimp/0430/articulo.php?art=18993&ed=0430#sigue Extracted the 28/03/2010.

Appendix Table 1: Overview of books itle

Los retos de la mujer de hoy Amantes de tiempo completo I: Ideas para triunfar en el amor La vida en rosa, El principe azul: Mujeres y amor en Mexico La conspiracion feminista Prear a los hombres Mujerlucha por tu ser Juventud en extasis 2:curso definitivo sobre conducta sexual Juventud en extasis: noviazgo y sexo prematrimonial La fuerza de Sheccid: una impactante historia de amor con mensaje de valores El noviazgo: Eleccion o decepcion? Parejas desechables: encontrando a tu alma gemela Amigos y Amantes: La Pareja Perfecta Soltera: Eleccin o circunstancia? 7 Claves de la felicidad en la pareja Manual del varon infiel: tacticas y sugerencias para que su pareja no lo descubra Realmente quiero tener hijos? Maquiavelo para mujeres Como un hombre ama a una mujer: comunicacion y sentimientos Como un hombre ama a una mujer: peleas, traicion, cambios

Author Elizabeth Cantu de Marquez Horacio Jaramillo Jessica Kreimerman Lew Lorenzo da Firenze Maria Luisa Castro Alfonso Lara Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez Ernesto Lammoglia Gildy Bardavid Helen Hernandez Maria Antonieta Barragan Peter Miller Victor Caballero Diana Dell and Suzan Erem Harriet Rubin Steve Vinay Gunther Steve Vinay Gunther

Author background Mexican author Mexican author US-Mexican author Mexican author Mexican author Mexican author Mexican author Mexican author Mexican author Mexican author US author US-Mexican author Mexican author US author Mexican author US authors US author Australian author Australian author

Trajectory Entirely Mexican Entirely Mexican Entirely Mexican Entirely Mexican Entirely Mexican Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Transnational unadapted Transnational unadapted Transnational unadapted Transnational unadapted

Table 2: Overview of magazines Title

Yo 11/2004; 02/2005; 03/2005; 06/2005

Publisher Editorial Televisa

Publisher background Mexican editorial team

Trajectory Entirely Mexican

Fernanda no. 15 Nueva: famosos, belleza, moda 12/10/2004 Veintitantos 03/2005 and 04/2005 15 a 20 03/2005 Eres Pocket no. 401 and no. 404 Esposa joven 02/2005 and 03/2005 T+ de Mujer 30/04/2005 T+ de Mama/T+ de Mujer 30/06/2005 Cosmopolitan 17/03/2005 Elle 03/2005 Mejora tu vida en pareja no. 18 Psicologia practica no. 64

Grupo Medios Editorial Notmusa Editorial Notmusa Editorial Notmusa Editorial Televisa Grupo Editorial Impresiones Aereas Readers Digest Mexico Readers Digest Mexico Editorial Televisa Grupo Editorial Expansion Globus Comunicacion Globus Comunicacion HYMSA

Mexican editorial team Mexican editorial team Mexican editorial team Mexican editorial team Mexican editorial team Mexican editorial team Mexican/international editorial team Mexican/international editorial team Mexican/international editorial team Mexican/international editorial team Spanish editorial team

Entirely Mexican Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Mexican international Transnational adapted Transnational adapted Transnational unadapted Transnational unadapted

Mujer 21 no. 83

Spanish and Latin American editorial team Spanish editorial team Transnational unadapted


In this sense, our argument stands in contrast to Illouzs (2008) recent comparison of therapeutic culture in the USA and Israel. While her study is mostly focused on the historical development and contemporary contours of therapeutic culture in the USA, Illouz postulates, without detailed elaboration, some sort of transnational cultural convergence through which largely homogeneous therapeutic narratives travel between nations and world regions. ii Regarding the implications and problems entailed by the use of Latin America as a socio-historical and cultural category, see Mignolo (2005)