Abstract—The present paper aims to critique the trend of oversimplification in contemporary popular inspirational literature. It analyzes instances from works in this genre to demonstrate how interpretations of reality are packaged in simple, crystallized nuggets of “wisdom”. It then highlights the pedagogical and psychological implications of simplification for readers who are fed trimmed versions of psychological and spiritual concepts though generalizations and one-toned rhetoric. The paper finally emphasizes the need to subject works in the inspirational genre to keen sociological scrutiny and to empirically evaluate readers’ responses to gauge their wider sociological influence.
Index Terms—Generalization, one-toned rhetoric, over-simplification, pedagogical issues.
M. U. Gokhale is with Department in Indian Institute of Technology –Bombay working under the supervision of Prof. M. S. Malshe. She is also an Associate Professor in the Applied Sciences & Humanities Department of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Sardar Patel Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India. (e-mail: madhavi.gokhale@ gmail.com).
Cite: Madhavi Gokhale, "The Implications of Simplification in 'Inspirational Literature'," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 400-404, 2012.