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Tantalizing Times

Dauphin, V. Barry

Tantalizing Times

Excitements, Disconnects, and Discontents in Contemporary American Society

Year of Publication: 2006

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2006. VIII, 238 pp.
ISBN 978-0-8204-8163-0 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.500 kg, 1.102 lbs

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Discipline

Book synopsis

What can the ancient myth of Tantalus teach us about modern America? Tantalus was a wealthy man on top of his world. Yet seeing how the gods lived whetted his desires to have their powers and immortality. The punishment for his hubris was to have desired objects in sight but out of reach eternally. Although America is a culture awash in excitements, amusements, technologies, and innumerable goodies, Americans frequently complain of dissatisfaction. This book explores the myth and psychology of tantalization in order to look at many of the curious contradictions of American culture in new ways. This book could be useful for courses in psychology, sociology, American studies, communication and interdisciplinary courses that include a focus on American society.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: V. Barry Dauphin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Syracuse University in New York. He has published in various areas of psychology and presented numerous papers at national and international conferences.

Reviews

«‘Tantalizing Times’ provides thoughtful and thought-provoking insights into the individual and cultural meanings, opportunities, and anxieties of being an American in the twenty-first century.» (Bertram P. Karon, Professor, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University)
«Utilizing the myth of Tantalus, V. Barry Dauphin offers a scholarly and lively examination of how such mythic themas of antiquity continue to structure our cultural unconscious strivings as well as intersect with the promises, expectations, associated frustrations, and contradictions of contemporary American cultural, political, and economical life. Dauphin’s sweeping and searching work will find great appeal with cultural anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, psychoanalysts, as well as members of the lay reading public. His grasp of latent meaning structures supports observable social and cultural phenomena and his appreciation of metaphor, metonymy and semiotics ably assists the reader in stepping outside of the «knowns» and «givens» that bracket and limit while providing other possibilities of experiencing and knowing. ‘Tantalizing Times’ is rich with humor, and everyday examples and is rendered in an accessible compositional style, while still accomplishing its scholarly purpose.» (David L. Downing, Director of Graduate Programs in Psychology and Associate Professor, University of Indianapolis, School of Psychological Sciences)