Fractured Identity: 'In Treatment' as a Symptom and Reflection of Contemporary Emotional Culture
In Treatment
Television Studies
TV Series
Emotional Culture
Materias Investigacion::Comunicación
Issue Date: 
""Fractured Identity: 'In Treatment' as a Symptom and Reflection of Contemporary Emotional Culture"". García Martínez, Alejandro Néstor, García Martínez, Alberto Nahum. In ""Emotions and Cultural Analysis"", edited by González, Ana Marta. Ashgate, London, 2012, pp. 115-132.
If the first novelty of In Treatment is to focus exclusively on a subject rarely treated in T.V. fiction and to do so through a daily format, the second major innovation, which is the focus of this chapter, regards the expansion of the subject boundaries that are represented in television fiction. The clinical approach to the issue of identity and the pervasiveness of emotions therein make this series a sociological reference, an important representation of a central, regulating concept of cultural values and contemporary lifestyles: the concept of “emotional culture”. Because of these two singularities, the series owes its success to how it reflects the way people cope and manage their emotions in today's society. Thus, this chapter starts from the idea that, through the study of visual fictions, predominant cultural traits and values that lead to specific trends or lifestyles that are often proposed as socially binding norms, can be detected. The presence of emotions and a description of how the characters manage and face them contribute rich cultural information, ripe for analysis (Rodríguez Salazar 2008). Here we propose an analysis of the first season of the television series In Treatment (HBO, 2008) as a reflection and symptom of the therapeutic-emotional style of our culture, characterized by the growing presence of emotional speech in all fields of social life.

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