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Current Status of Healing Contents and Characteristics of Healing Novels in Bestsellers of the 2020s

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2024, 30(2), pp.69-104
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2024.30.2.002
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : May 15, 2024
  • Accepted : June 20, 2024
  • Published : June 30, 2024

LEE Jura 1

1원광대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper identified the current status of healing contents in bestsellers of the 2020s and analyzed the characteristics of healing discourse. In the early 2010s, healing discourse became popular in Korean society, and around 2020, it has begun to critically reflect on the early healing discourse. Healing content began to be organized around books and expanded to the media. Even in the post-COVID-19 era, healing content continues to be a powerful force in the publishing market. However, academic research on healing content and discourse has not progressed since the mid-2010s. Therefore, this paper summarized the current status of healing content in the publishing market since the mid-2010s and analyzed the characteristics and limitations of healing discourse in bestselling healing content. Bestsellers in the 2020s have shifted from essays to novels. While the essays focused on inner reflection, the novels showed a life that goes beyond the individual, empathizing and communicating with others. The message of the healing novel seemed to go beyond the limits of early healing discourse. It revealed a rejection of the method of strengthening neoliberal governmentality in which social problems were attributed to individual responsibility, and the individual subject isolated. However, the community depicted in the healing novels was exclusive, consisting only of people who perfectly embodied the normality of society. The protagonists of the healing novels were able to establish a healing community because they had achieved success through their individual abilities in a meritocratic society, and in order to enter the healing community, they had to embody the speech and manners of those who had acquired cultural capital. On the surface, healing discourse of the 2020s ostensibly advocated the establishment of a social self and solidarity with the others, but behind it, it excluded the socially marginalized group without economic, social, and cultural capital. While critical reflections on renewing healing discourses have been ongoing in the academic and cultural fields, there has been a lack of analysis of best-selling healing content. This paper proposed the possibility of a new change in the healing discourse by securing a critical perspective on healing content that is widely and influentially distributed.

Citation status

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