Unravelling the ‘Help’ in Self-Help

Main Article Content

Radhika Sharma
Ishita U Bharadwaj


The present article intends to explore the challenges faced by the urban professionals in reaching for the emotional and professional amidst the neoliberal marketplace, via the narratives salient in Self-Help texts. Self-Help texts embody metaphors that rely on agency bound “bootstrapping” narratives, where individuals are compelled to maximise their agency in terms of tangible profits and fulfil their calculated potential in the social marketplace of competition. The neoliberal marketplace obfuscates the existing inequalities through narratives of multiculturalism and individual empowerment. Deliberation through thematic analysis, this article intends to look into the emergence of the ‘achievable self’ through the prevalence of Self Help texts as a popular genre in the Indian scenario. It also seeks to discuss the mental health challenges faced by individuals in meeting the achievement benchmarks of the current ethos, and how Self-Help texts posit themselves as providing the means to do so. The emergent themes will be discussed in the article in detail. This article seeks to explore the relationship between the reader and self-help texts to better understand the process by which newer conceptualisations of mental wellbeing as an achievement benchmark have emerged.

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How to Cite
Sharma, R., & Bharadwaj, I. (2022). Unravelling the ‘Help’ in Self-Help. Mind and Society, 11(02), 41-49. https://doi.org/10.56011/mind-mri-112-20224
Research Article