Does The Positivity Movement In Psychology Produce Oppression?
MetadataShow full item record
The positivity movement in psychology has inspired an individualistic, elitist, and consumer-driven wellness culture, that leaves out societies most vulnerable, and therefore most in need of support. Neoliberalism in the West and free-market capitalism combine to create the conditions for individuals to flourish, rather than communities. Self-optimization has become so entwined with western capitalism, that its initial message of strength-based, individual flourishing has been distorted, repackaged and resold to consumers as a product. It encourages consumerism and classism through the promotion of expensive luxury items sold as self-care, which only the wealthy can afford, and further isolates and ignores those with little economic power or spare time. We are pressured to market ourselves and compete for resources as individuals. This wellness culture has the potential to confuse consumers with pseudoscientific claims, which are perpetuated by the media and our celebrity-worshiping culture, and may promote unfounded alternative health measures which can be harmful to consumers. Furthermore, the competitive self-optimization enmeshed with our online culture exacerbates these concerns and embodies the issues inherent in a neoliberal, capitalist society. Through these social media apps, wellness products are promoted by a plethora of wealthy celebrities and influencers under the guise of self-care, available only to the economic elite. I will examine the oppression this wellness culture produces in our society and explore how it seeks to benefit primarily the wealthy, rather than creating a better community for all.