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The Power of Cute

The Power of Cute

By May, Simon

An exploration of cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions Cuteness has taken the planet by storm. Global sensations Hello Kitty and Pokemon, the works of artists Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, Heidi the cro...ss-eyed opossum and E.T.-all reflect its gathering power. But what does "cute" mean, as a sensibility and style? Why is it so pervasive? Is it all infantile fluff, or is there something more uncanny and even menacing going on-in a lighthearted way? In The Power of Cute, Simon May provides nuanced and surprising answers. We usually see the cute as merely diminutive, harmless, and helpless. May challenges this prevailing perspective, investigating everything from Mickey Mouse to Kim Jong-il to argue that cuteness is not restricted to such sweet qualities but also beguiles us by transforming or distorting them into something of playfully indeterminate power, gender, age, morality, and even species. May grapples with cuteness's dark and unpindownable side-unnerving, artful, knowing, apprehensive-elements that have fascinated since ancient times through mythical figures, especially hybrids like the hermaphrodite and the sphinx. He argues that cuteness is an addictive antidote to today's pressured expectations of knowing our purpose, being in charge, and appearing predictable, transparent, and sincere. Instead, it frivolously expresses the uncertainty that these norms deny: the ineliminable uncertainty of who we are; of how much we can control and know; of who, in our relations with others, really has power; indeed, of the very value and purpose of power. The Power of Cute delves into a phenomenon that speaks with strange force to our age.
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ISBN 9780691185712
Published 19 Mar 2019
Publisher Princeton University Pre
Availabilty Not yet available in NZ

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780691185712
Stock Available
Status Wheelers ePlatform
Publisher unlisted
Imprint Princeton University Press
Released 19 Mar 2019
Publication Country United States United States
Format Not specified
 › 1 other possible formats available
Author(s) By May, Simon
Category Philosophy
Social & Political Philosophy
Social Theory
Social Institutions
Number of Pages 256
Dimensions Not specified
Dewey Code 155.25
Weight Not specified - defaults to 0g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text Philosophy
ONIX Text General/trade