Author: William Davies
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2015-05-12
Genre: Social Science
In winter 2014, a Tibetan monk lectured the world leaders gathered at Davos on the importance of Happiness. The recent DSM-5, the manual of all diagnosable mental illnesses, for the first time included shyness and grief as treatable diseases. Happiness has become the biggest idea of our age, a new religion dedicated to well-being. In this brilliant dissection of our times, political economist William Davies shows how this philosophy, first pronounced by Jeremy Bentham in the 1780s, has dominated the political debates that have delivered neoliberalism. From a history of business strategies of how to get the best out of employees, to the increased level of surveillance measuring every aspect of our lives; from why experts prefer to measure the chemical in the brain than ask you how you are feeling, to why Freakonomics tells us less about the way people behave than expected, The Happiness Industry is an essential guide to the marketization of modern life. Davies shows that the science of happiness is less a science than an extension of hyper-capitalism.
NAMED ONE OF THE 40 BEST BOOKS OF 2016 BY THE NEW YORK POST A New York Times Editor's Choice pick “Ruth Whippman is my new favorite cultural critic...a shrewd, hilarious analysis.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B (coauthored with Sheryl Sandberg) "I don't think I've enjoyed cultural observations this much since David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. Reading this book is like touring America with a scary-smart friend who can't stop elbowing you in the ribs and saying, "Are you seeing what I'm seeing?!" If you want to understand why our culture incites pure dread and alienation in so many of us (often without always recognizing it), read this book." —Heather Havrilesky, writer behind "Ask Polly" for New York Magazine and nationally bestselling author of How to Be a Person in the World Are you happy? Right now? Happy enough? As happy as everyone else? Could you be happier if you tried harder? After she packed up her British worldview (that most things were basically rubbish) and moved to America, journalist and documentary filmmaker Ruth Whippman found herself increasingly perplexed by the American obsession with one topic above all others: happiness. The subject came up everywhere: at the playground swings, at the meat counter in the supermarket, and even—legs in stirrups—at the gynecologist. The omnipresence of these happiness conversations (trading tips, humble-bragging successes, offering unsolicited advice) wouldn’t let her go, and so Ruth did some digging. What she found was a paradox: despite the fact that Americans spend more time and money in search of happiness than any other nation on earth, research shows that the United States is one of the least contented, most anxious countries in the developed world. Stoked by a multi-billion dollar “happiness industrial complex” intent on selling the promise of bliss, America appeared to be driving itself crazy in pursuit of contentment. So Ruth set out to get to the bottom of this contradiction, embarking on an uproarious pilgrimage to investigate how this national obsession infiltrates all areas of life, from religion to parenting, the workplace to academia. She attends a controversial self-help course that promises total transformation, where she learns all her problems are all her own fault; visits a “happiness city” in the Nevada desert and explores why it has one of the highest suicide rates in America; delves into the darker truths behind the influential academic “positive psychology movement”; and ventures to Utah to spend time with the Mormons, officially America’s happiest people. What she finds, ultimately, and presents in America the Anxious, is a rigorously researched yet universal answer, and one that comes absolutely free of charge.
Author: Mark Cieslik
Release Date: 2016-11-23
Genre: Social Science
This book examines the meaning of happiness in Britain today, and observes that although we face challenges such as austerity, climate change and disenchantment with politics, we continue to be interested in happiness and living well. The author illustrates how happiness is a far more contested, social process than is often portrayed by economists and psychologists, and takes issue with sociologists who often regard wellbeing and the happiness industry with suspicion, whilst neglecting one of the key features of being human – the quest for a good life. Exploring themes that question what it means to be happy and live a good life in Britain today, such as the challenges young people face making their way through education and into their first jobs; work life-balance; mid-life crises; and old age, the book presents nineteen life stories that call for a far more critical and ambitious approach to happiness research that marries the radicalism of sociology, with recent advances in psychology and economics. This book will appeal to students and academics interested in wellbeing, happiness and quality of life and also those researching areas such as the life course, work-life balance, biographies, aging and youth studies.
There is a paradox at the heart of our lives. We all want more money, but as societies become richer, they do not become happier. This is not speculation: It's the story told by countless pieces of scientific research. We now have sophisticated ways of measuring how happy people are, and all the evidence shows that on average people have grown no happier in the last fifty years, even as average incomes have more than doubled. The central question the great economist Richard Layard asks in Happiness is this: If we really wanted to be happier, what would we do differently? First we'd have to see clearly what conditions generate happiness and then bend all our efforts toward producing them. That is what this book is about-the causes of happiness and the means we have to effect it. Until recently there was too little evidence to give a good answer to this essential question, but, Layard shows us, thanks to the integrated insights of psychology, sociology, applied economics, and other fields, we can now reach some firm conclusions, conclusions that will surprise you. Happiness is an illuminating road map, grounded in hard research, to a better, happier life for us all.
Author: Camilla Nelson
Publisher: Apollo Books
Release Date: 2015-06-01
Genre: Literary Collections
What is happiness, and how does the pursuit of happiness shape our lives? Happiness appears to be a simple emotion, individual and pleasurable, yet the problems associated with happiness in politics, economics, and philosophy suggest that it is perhaps more complex and paradoxical than we first thought. This eclectic collection of essays interrogates the 'common sense' understanding of happiness in the West and examines the strategies devised to obtain it. Without disposing of the concept altogether, the book rediscovers the latent aspects of this pervasive (and elusive) phenomenon. Ultimately, it concludes that our current notions of happiness may in fact be the very cause of our discontent. On Happiness offers readers a spectrum of critical reflections and 'rethinks' of this ubiquitous cultural obsession. *** Librarians: ebook available on ProQuest and EBSCO [Subject: Philosophy, Sociology, Popular Culture]
Author: William Davies
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2018-05-04
Genre: Political Science
An innovative new anthology exploring how science fiction can motivate new approaches to economics. From the libertarian economics of Ayn Rand to Aldous Huxley's consumerist dystopias, economics and science fiction have often orbited each other. In Economic Science Fictions, editor William Davies has deliberately merged the two worlds, asking how we might harness the power of the utopian imagination to revitalize economic thinking. Rooted in the sense that our current economic reality is no longer credible or viable, this collection treats our economy as a series of fictions and science fiction as a means of anticipating different economic futures. It asks how science fiction can motivate new approaches to economics and provides surprising new syntheses, merging social science with fiction, design with politics, scholarship with experimental forms. With an opening chapter from Ha-Joon Chang as well as theory, short stories, and reflections on design, this book from Goldsmiths Press challenges and changes the notion that economics and science fiction are worlds apart. The result is a wealth of fresh and unusual perspectives for anyone who believes the economy is too important to be left solely to economists. Contributors AUDINT, Khairani Barokka, Carina Brand, Ha-Joon Chang, Miriam Cherry, William Davies, Mark Fisher, Dan Gavshon-Brady and James Pockson, Owen Hatherley, Laura Horn, Tim Jackson, Mark Johnson, Bastien Kerspern, Nora O Murchú, Tobias Revell et al., Judy Thorne, Sherryl Vint, Joseph Walton, Brian Willems
Author: Daniel M. Haybron
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2013-08-29
Happiness is an everyday term in our lives, and most of us strive to be happy. But defining happiness can be difficult. In this Very Short Introduction, Dan Haybron considers the true nature of happiness. By examining what it is, assessing its importance in our lives, and how we can (and should) pursue it, he considers the current thinking on happiness, from psychology to philosophy. Illustrating the diverse routes to happiness, Haybron reflects on contemporary ideas about the pursuit of a good life and considers the influence of social context on our satisfaction and well-being. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Considering a career in the salon industry? Are you a recent cosmetology school graduate or stylist new to the business? Being a hairstylist is so much more than "doing hair." It's about uniting inner beauty with outward appearances... it's about effectively communicating with and finding a connection to every client that sits in your chair. Mastering the art of communication, possessing professional business skills, and taking care of your needs as a stylist are just as important as mastering the perfect haircut. This book will tell you how that's done. Written specifically with cosmetology students, those considering a career in hair design, and stylists in mind, each chapter of The Business of Beauty specifically addresses the following topics in a personal, fun and thorough way. Chapter titles include: - So You Want to be a Hairstylist? ( That's Great - Hairdressers Are Amazing! ) - The Salon Environment ( The Pretty and the Not-So-Pretty ) - Life After Cosmetology School ( The Apprenticeship ) - Contracts ( The Legend of the Non-Compete Agreement ) - Your First Year as a Hairstylist ( Building a Clientele ) - What Clients Look for in a Salon and Stylist ( Words of Wisdom From the Client's Perspective ) - Pricing Your Services ( Knowing When, Why and How to Increase Your Prices ) - Professionalism in the Modern Salon ( Or, "You Stay Classy San Diego" - Ron Burgundy ) - Oh, That's Personal ( Aligning Your Personality With Your Image ) - First Impressions ( The Art of Shampooing ) - A Good Hairdresser is Hard to Find ( Putting Yourself in the Client Chair ) - Social Media ( Building Your Business Online ) - Making Mistakes ( How to Avoid Them, and What to Do When You Make One ) - Balancing Work and Family ( Creating Your Ideal Work Schedule ) - The Evolution of Your Career ( Employment Options in the Salon Industry ) - Exit Strategy ( Moving From One Salon to the Next ) - Burnout ( Warning Signs and How to Deal With It ) - Switching Gears ( Becoming a Hairstylist As a Second Career ) - Why Hair? ( Because You're Awesome, That's Why ) Full of client testimonials, advice and tips from salon owners and successful veterans of the industry, The Business of Beauty is your go-to manual on how to create success and happiness while working in the salon. In an industry that survives on fulfilling the needs of others, The Business of Beauty teaches you how to take care of your clients and just as importantly - how to take care of yourself.
Author: Ashley Frawley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2015-02-26
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
The Semiotics of Happiness examines the rise of 'happiness' (and its various satellite terminologies) as a social and political semiotic, exploring its origins in the US and subsequent spread into the UK and across the globe. The research takes as its starting point the development of discussions about happiness in UK newspapers in which dedicated advocates began to claim that anew 'science of happiness' had been discovered and argued for social and political change on its behalf. Through an in-depth analysis of the written and visual rhetoric and subsequent activities of these influential 'claims-makers', Frawley argues that happiness became a serious political issue not because of a growing unhappiness in society nor a demand 'on the ground' for new knowledge about it, but rather because influential and dedicated 'insiders' took the issue on at a cultural moment when problems cast in emotional terms were particularly likely to make an impact. Emerging from the analysis is the observation that, while apparently positive and light-hearted, the concern with happiness implicitly affirms a 'vulnerability' model of human functioning, encourages a morality of low expectations, and in spite of the radical language used to describe it, is ultimately conservative and ideally suited to an era of 'no alternative' (to capitalism).
Author: William Davies
Release Date: 2016-11-16
Genre: Social Science
"Brilliant... explains how the rhetoric of competition has invaded almost every domain of our existence” - Evgeny Morozov, author of To Save Everything, Click Here “In this fascinating book Davies inverts the conventional neoliberal practice of treating politics as if it were mere epiphenomenon of market theory, demonstrating that their version of economics is far better understood as the pursuit of politics by other means” - Professor Philip Mirowski, University of Notre Dame "A sparkling, original, and provocative analysis of neoliberalism. It offers a distinctive account of the diverse, sometimes contradictory, conventions and justifications that lend authority to the extension of the spirit of competitiveness to all spheres of social life…This book breaks new ground, offers new modes of critique, and points to post-neoliberal futures” - Professor Bob Jessop, University of Lancaster Since its intellectual inception in the 1930s and its political emergence in the 1970s, neo-liberalism has sought to disenchant politics by replacing it with economics. This agenda-setting text examines the efforts and failures of economic experts to make government and public life amenable to measurement, and to re-model society and state in terms of competition. In particular, it explores the practical use of economic techniques and conventions by policy-makers, politicians, regulators and judges and how these practices are being adapted to the perceived failings of the neoliberal model. By picking apart the defining contradiction that arises from the conflation of economics and politics, this book asks: to what extent can economics provide government legitimacy? Now with a new preface from the author and a foreword by Aditya Chakrabortty.
Author: Lynne Segal
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2017-12-05
Genre: Social Science
A passionate call to rediscover the political and emotional joy that emerges when we share our lives In an era of increasing individualism, we have never been more isolated and dispirited. A paradox confronts us. While research and technology find new ways to measure contentment and popular culture encourages us to think of happiness as a human right, misery is abundant. Segal believes we have lost the art of “radical happiness”—the liberation that comes with transformative, collective joy. She argues that instead of obsessing about our own well-being we should seek fulfilment in the lives of others. Examining her own experience in the women’s movement, Segal looks at the relationship between love and sex, and the scope for utopian thinking as a means to a better future. She also shows how the gaps in care that come from the diminishing role of the welfare state must be replaced by alternative ways of living together and looking after one another. In this brilliant and provocative book, Segal proposes that the power of true happiness can only be discovered collectively.
Author: Anthony Corbeill
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2015-03-08
Although numerous scholars have studied Late Republican humor, this is the first book to examine its social and political context. Anthony Corbeill maintains that political abuse exercised real powers of persuasion over Roman audiences and he demonstrates how public humor both creates and enforces a society's norms. Previous scholarship has offered two explanations for why abusive language proliferated in Roman oratory. The first asserts that public rhetoric, filled with extravagant lies, was unconstrained by strictures of propriety. The second contends that invective represents an artifice borrowed from the Greeks. After a fresh reading of all extant literary works from the period, Corbeill concludes that the topics exploited in political invective arise from biases already present in Roman society. The author assesses evidence outside political discourse—from prayer ritual to philosophical speculation to physiognomic texts—in order to locate independently the biases in Roman society that enabled an orator's jokes to persuade. Within each instance of abusive humor—a name pun, for example, or the mockery of a physical deformity—resided values and preconceptions that were essential to the way a Roman citizen of the Late Republic defined himself in relation to his community. Originally published in 1996. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
It's a dirty world out there, and everyone is going to clean up. Sally Collins reveals how potential entrepreneurs can prosper in the coin laundry business. Based on her thirty years in the industry, Collins displays panoramic views of the day-to-day operations of this exciting and timeless venture.
Finally, a definitive and reliable manual that demystifies the complicated world of parenting while delivering crucial tips and sage advice—all from three guys who make comics instead of children. This informative guide for breeders tackles all the big parenting issues: Finding messages in your alphabet soup, drawing the perfect hand turkey, getting away with kidnapping, telling your kids you don't love them anymore, and making out with your kid's best friend's dad. Cartoonists Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick combine all their knowledge and experience—or lack thereof—for a laugh-out-loud, labor-inducing look into the world of parenthood through the sick and twisted lens of Cyanide & Happiness comics.