Passing the Personality Test: Dissent and the Therapeutic Subject
From the Buzzfeed quiz to the status update, the courtroom to the therapist’s couch, U.S. culture is rife with sites where subjects are asked to pass the test of whether they inhabit personhood in the right way. How does mental wellness become yet another attribute of the liberal subject who deserves to thrive? How does the performance of a personality determine the distribution of privilege? In particular, we aim to consider how the the psychologization of power bolsters structures of oppression along lines of race, sex, gender, and ability. What happens when homosexuality or blackness, for example, are reinscribed as forms of personality disorder or schizoid psychosis?