Cold Intimacies, Happycracy and Emotions as Commodities

Eva Illouz

4 November 2021
19:30 — 20:30

Location: Het Huis Main Stage

Conversation with Katerina Gregos //

It is commonly assumed that capitalism has created an a-emotional world dominated by bureaucratic rationality; that economic behaviour conflicts with intimate, authentic relationships; that the public and private spheres are opposed to each other; and that true love is opposed to calculation and self-interest. Eva Illouz (Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) rejects these conventional ideas and argues that the culture of capitalism has fostered an intensely emotional culture. She argues that economic relations have become deeply emotional, while close, intimate relationships have become increasingly defined by economic and political models of bargaining, exchange and equity.

In this keynote conversation, Illouz will talk about Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism (2007), the book that inspired the Modern Love exhibition. More recently, Illouz further developed her ideas in Happycracy: How the Industry of Happiness Controls our Lives and Emotions as Commodities: How Commodities Became Authentic (both published 2018). After the talk, Modern Love curator Katerina Gregos will interview Illouz to connect the core ideas from her books with recent developments related to love, technology and politics.


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