Propaganda in the Helping Professions

ISBN : 9780195325003

Eileen D. Gambrill
584 Pages
163 x 234 mm
Pub date
Mar 2012
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Propaganda in the helping professions has grown by leaps and bounds in recent decades, with alarming implications for clients and their families, as well as the professionals who try to help them. There is a fog that has been generated by corporate interests and organizations attempting to sell their services and products to desperate or poorly educated consumers. Propaganda in the Helping Professions is a guide to lifting the confusion. From phrenology to institutional crib-beds for adult psychiatric patients, from Roman bird-beak masks to drugs designed to combat overurination, readers are taken on a tour across the centuries of egregious practices of professionals and quacks including the present-day medicalization of our lives. The author, one of the field's most relentless critics of fads, phonies, and fallacies, shows readers how to think critically about both research and advertising in order to deliver effective services to clients and not be bamboozled by bogus claims about alleged problems, risks, and remedies. Incisive, interesting, eminently readable, and passionately argued, this book places responsibility for client well-being both on consumers-to raise questions-and on the professionals who claim to help them-to accurately answer them.


Part 1. Introduction
1. Propaganda in the Helping Professions: What is it and Why Should You Care?
Part 2. Context, Actors, and Scripts
2. Introduction to the Players
3. Interactions among the Players
4. Propaganda Analysis: Different Levels
Part 3. Consequences of Propaganda
5. A Rogue's Gallery of Harms Related to Propaganda in the Helping Professions
6. The Medicalization of Life
Part 4. How They Reel Us In
7. Obscure Different Views of Knowledge and How to Get It
8. Appeal to Popular Grand Narratives and Metaphors
9. Disguise Advertisements as Professional Literature
10. Propagandistic Use of Language and Social Psychological Persuasion Strategies
11. Appeal to Our Psychological Vulnerabilities
Part 5. What You Can Do
12. Enhance Your Argument Analysis Skills
13. Increase Your Skill in Spotting Fallacies
14. Increase Your Skill in Searching for Answers for Yourself

About the author: 

Eileen Gambrill, PhD, is Hutto Patterson Professor of Child and Family Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

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