The Happiness Industry

Author: William Davies
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781688472
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.

The Happiness Industry

Author: William Davies
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 1784780952
Release Date: 2016-06-14
Genre: Philosophy

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.

Happiness Industry

Author: William Davies
Publisher:
ISBN: 1784782726
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Economics

The Anti- Freakonomics: a brilliant take down of behaviourial economics, the quantified life and the Happiness Index.

The Limits of Neoliberalism

Author: William Davies
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781526411594
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.

Happiness A Very Short Introduction

Author: Daniel M. Haybron
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191654336
Release Date: 2013-08-29
Genre: Philosophy

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.

Drugs for Life

Author: Joseph Dumit
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822348719
Release Date: 2012-09-03
Genre: Business & Economics

Joseph Dumit argues that underlying Americans' burgeoning consumption of prescription drugs and the skyrocketing cost of healthcare is a relatively new perception of ourselves as inherently ill and in need of chronic treatment.

America the Anxious

Author: Ruth Whippman
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781466882669
Release Date: 2016-10-04
Genre: Psychology

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.

Economic Science Fictions

Author: William Davies
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9781906897734
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

The Wellness Syndrome

Author: Carl Cederstr?m
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780745688718
Release Date: 2015-02-04
Genre: Philosophy

Not exercising as much as you should? Counting your calories in your sleep? Feeling ashamed for not being happier? You may be a victim of the wellness syndrome. In this ground-breaking new book, Carl Cederström and André Spicer argue that the ever-present pressure to maximize our wellness has started to work against us, making us feel worse and provoking us to withdraw into ourselves. The Wellness Syndrome follows health freaks who go to extremes to find the perfect diet, corporate athletes who start the day with a dance party, and the self-trackers who monitor everything, including their own toilet habits. This is a world where feeling good has become indistinguishable from being good. Visions of social change have been reduced to dreams of individual transformation, political debate has been replaced by insipid moralising, and scientific evidence has been traded for new-age delusions. A lively and humorous diagnosis of the cult of wellness, this book is an indispensable guide for everyone suspicious of our relentless quest to be happier and healthier.

Rachel Maclean

Author: Rachel Maclean
Publisher: Home Manchester
ISBN: 0993591213
Release Date: 2016-10-01
Genre:

This is the first monograph on Scottish multimedia Rachel Maclean (born 1986). Exploring themes such as childhood, identity, consumerism and the media, Maclean's work uses the visual tropes and references of the internet era to create a biting critique of contemporary life.

Psychobabble

Author: Stephen Briers
Publisher: Pearson UK
ISBN: 9780273781448
Release Date: 2012-12-14
Genre: Self-Help

Exposing the self-help myths that make us all more miserable. This is what your psychologist would really tell you–if he thought you could handle it! This is the kick up the backside the self-help genre needs: an intelligent, provocative and thought-provoking expose of the modern myths that we’re told make us happier, but in reality screw us up. Clinical psychologist, Dr Stephen Briers shines a light into the dark corners of self-help and explodes the myths, false hopes, quack philosophies and unrealistic expectations it routinely advocates. It is a refreshing antidote to the `same old same old’ approaches, offering a radical re-think of the way we approach problems in our lives, offering empowering new perspectives and expert advice on avoiding the biggest life traps. Dr Briers questions the perceived wisdom, shakes up the status quo, and encourages us to think again.

Against Happiness

Author: Eric G. Wilson
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 1429944218
Release Date: 2008-01-22
Genre: Social Science

Americans are addicted to happiness. When we're not popping pills, we leaf through scientific studies that take for granted our quest for happiness, or read self-help books by everyone from armchair philosophers and clinical psychologists to the Dalai Lama on how to achieve a trouble-free life: Stumbling on Happiness; Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment; The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. The titles themselves draw a stark portrait of the war on melancholy. More than any other generation, Americans of today believe in the transformative power of positive thinking. But who says we're supposed to be happy? Where does it say that in the Bible, or in the Constitution? In Against Happiness, the scholar Eric G. Wilson argues that melancholia is necessary to any thriving culture, that it is the muse of great literature, painting, music, and innovation—and that it is the force underlying original insights. Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln were all confirmed melancholics. So enough Prozac-ing of our brains. Let's embrace our depressive sides as the wellspring of creativity. What most people take for contentment, Wilson argues, is living death, and what the majority takes for depression is a vital force. In Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, Wilson suggests it would be better to relish the blues that make humans people.

Inequality and the 1

Author: Danny Dorling
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781685860
Release Date: 2014-10-07
Genre: Political Science

Since the great recession hit in 2008, the 1% has only grown richer while the rest find life increasingly tough. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has turned into a chasm. While the rich have found new ways of protecting their wealth, everyone else has suffered the penalties of austerity. But inequality is more than just economics. Being born outside the 1% has a dramatic impact on a person's potential: reducing life expectancy, limiting education and work prospects, and even affecting mental health. What is to be done? In Inequality and the 1% leading social thinker Danny Dorling lays bare the extent and true cost of the division in our society and asks what have the superrich ever done for us. He shows that inquality is the greatest threat we face and why we must urgently redress the balance.

Freedom Manifesto

Author: Steve Forbes
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780307951595
Release Date: 2012-08-21
Genre: Business & Economics

From Steve Forbes, the iconic editor in chief of Forbes Media, and Elizabeth Ames coauthors of How Capitalism Will Save Us—comes a new way of thinking about the role of government and the morality of free markets. Americans today are at a turning point. Are we a coun­try founded on the values of freedom and limited gov­ernment, as envisioned by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? Or do we want to become a European-style socialist democ­racy? What best serves the public good—freedom or Big Government? In Freedom Manifesto, Forbes and Ames offer a new twist on this historic debate. Today’s bloated and bureau­cratic government, they argue, is anything but a force for compassion. Instead of assuring fairness, it promotes favoritism. Instead of furthering opportunity, it stifles economic growth. Instead of unleashing innovation and material abundance, its regulations and price controls create rigidity and scarcity. Not only are Big Govern­ment’s inefficient and ever-expanding bureaucracies ill-equipped to deliver on their promises—they are often guilty of the very greed, excess, and corruption routinely ascribed to the private sector. The only way to a truly fair and moral society, the authors say, is through economic freedom—free people and free markets. Throughout history, open markets have helped the poor and everyone else by unleashing unprecedented creativity, generating wealth, and raising living standards. Promoting trust, generosity, and de­mocracy, economic freedom has been a more powerful force for individual rights, self-determination—and hu­manity—than any government bureaucracy. Freedom Manifesto captures the spirit of a new movement that is questioning old ideas about the mo­rality of government and markets for the first time since the Great Depression. Going beyond the familiar explanations and sound bites, the authors provide a fully developed framework of “first principles” for a true understanding of the real moral and ethical distinctions between more and less government. This timely and provocative book shows why free markets and liberty are the only way to a better future and a fair and humane society.

Power Inc

Author: David Rothkopf
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429950213
Release Date: 2012-02-28
Genre: Political Science

The world's largest company, Wal-Mart Stores, has revenues higher than the GDP of all but twenty-five of the world's countries. Its employees outnumber the populations of almost a hundred nations. The world's largest asset manager, a secretive New York company called Black Rock, controls assets greater than the national reserves of any country on the planet. A private philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, spends as much worldwide on health care as the World Health Organization. The rise of private power may be the most important and least understood trend of our time. David Rothkopf provides a fresh, timely look at how we have reached a point where thousands of companies have greater power than all but a handful of states. Beginning with the story of an inquisitive Swedish goat wandering off from his master and inadvertently triggering the birth of the oldest company still in existence, Power, Inc. follows the rise and fall of kings and empires, the making of great fortunes, and the chaos of bloody revolutions. A fast-paced tale in which champions of liberty are revealed to be paid pamphleteers of moneyed interests and greedy scoundrels trigger changes that lift billions from deprivation, Power, Inc. traces the bruising jockeying for influence right up to today's financial crises, growing inequality, broken international system, and battles over the proper role of government and markets. Rothkopf argues that these recent developments, coupled with the rise of powers like China and India, may not lead to the triumph of American capitalism that was celebrated just a few years ago. Instead, he considers an unexpected scenario, a contest among competing capitalisms offering different visions for how the world should work, a global ideological struggle in which European and Asian models may have advantages. An important look at the power struggle that is defining our times, Power, Inc. also offers critical insights into how to navigate the tumultuous years ahead.