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Accordingly, Hemphill says we cannot just “positively think” away structural hardships. She says it’s an “anti-sociological” perspective that distracts us from larger systemic problems. “In this way the belief in positive thinking also functions as a way to blame victims,” she says. “Further, the status quo remains unchallenged by such thinking, as these types of sentiments serve to individualize broader social problems.” At the same time, she says it works to serve the benefit of the privileged, especially those who are already experiencing “positive lives.”

I have an attitude problem, and I’m proud of it.

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