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.

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.

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.

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.

Philosophies of Happiness

Author: Diana Lobel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231545327
Release Date: 2017-11-14
Genre: Philosophy

What does it mean to be truly happy? In Philosophies of Happiness, Diana Lobel provides a rich spectrum of arguments for a theory of happiness as flourishing or well-being, offering a global, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary perspective on how to create a vital, fulfilling, and significant life. Drawing upon perspectives from a broad range of philosophical traditions—Eastern and Western, ancient and contemporary—the book suggests that just as physical health is the well-being of the body, happiness is the healthy and flourishing condition of the whole human being, and we experience the most complete happiness when we realize our potential through creative engagement. Lobel shows that while thick descriptions of happiness differ widely in texture and detail, certain themes resonate across texts from different traditions and historical contexts, suggesting core features of a happy life: attentive awareness; effortless action; relationship and connection to a larger, interconnected community; love or devotion; and creative engagement. Each feature adds meaning, significance, and value, so that we can craft lives of worth and purpose. These themes emerge from careful study of philosophical and religious texts and traditions: the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Epicurus; the Chinese traditions of Confucius, Laozi, and Zhuangzi; the Hindu Bhagavad Gītā; the Japanese Buddhist tradition of Soto Zen master Dōgen and his modern expositor Shunryu Suzuki; the Western religious traditions of Augustine and Maimonides; the Persian Sufi tale Conference of the Birds; and contemporary research on mindfulness and creativity. Written in a clear, accessible style, Philosophies of Happiness invites readers of all backgrounds to explore and engage with religious and philosophical conceptions of what makes life meaningful. Visit https://cup.columbia.edu/extras/supplement/philosophies-of-happiness for additional appendixes and supplemental notes.

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.

Happiness

Author: Richard Layard
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101117712
Release Date: 2006-06-27
Genre: Psychology

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.

Imperial Bedlam

Author: Jonathan Sadowsky
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520921852
Release Date: 1999-09-24
Genre: History

The colonial government of southern Nigeria began to use asylums to confine the allegedly insane in 1906. These asylums were administered by the British but confined Africans. Yet, as even many in the government recognized, insanity is a condition that shows cultural variation. Who decided the inmates were insane and how? This sophisticated historical study pursues these questions as it examines fascinating source material—writings by African patients in these institutions and the reports of officials, doctors, and others—to discuss the meaning of madness in Nigeria, the development of colonial psychiatry, and the connections between them. Jonathan Sadowsky's well-argued, concise study provides important new insights into the designation of madness across cultural and political frontiers. Imperial Bedlam follows the development of insane asylums from their origins in the nineteenth century to innovative treatment programs developed by Nigerian physicians during the transition to independence. Special attention is given to the writings of those considered "lunatics," a perspective relatively neglected in previous studies of psychiatric institutions in Africa and most other parts of the world. Imperial Bedlam shows how contradictions inherent in colonialism were articulated in both asylum policy and psychiatric theory. It argues that the processes of confinement, the labeling of insanity, and the symptoms of those so labeled reflected not only cultural difference but also political divides embedded in the colonial situation. Imperial Bedlam thus emphasizes not only the cultural background to madness but also its political and experiential dimensions.

Radical Happiness

Author: Lynne Segal
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781786631572
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.

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

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.

The Happiness Effect

Author: Donna Freitas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190239855
Release Date: 2017-02-01
Genre: Internet and youth

Sexting. Cyberbullying. Narcissism. Social media has become the dominant force in young people's lives, and each day seems to bring another shocking tale of private pictures getting into the wrong hands, or a lament that young people feel compelled to share their each and every thought with the entire world. Have smartphones and social media created a generation of self-obsessed egomaniacs? Absolutely not, Donna Freitas argues in this provocative book. And, she says, these alarmist fears are drawing attention away from the real issues that young adults are facing. Drawing on a large-scale survey and interviews with students on thirteen college campuses, Freitas finds that what young people are overwhelmingly concerned with--what they really want to talk about--is happiness. They face enormous pressure to look perfect online--not just happy, but blissful, ecstatic, and fabulously successful. Unable to achieve this impossible standard, they are anxious about letting the less-than-perfect parts of themselves become public. Far from wanting to share everything, they are brutally selective when it comes to curating their personal profiles, and worry obsessively that they might unwittingly post something that could come back to haunt them later in life. Through candid conversations with young people from diverse backgrounds, Freitas reveals how even the most well-adjusted individuals can be stricken by self-doubt when they compare their experiences with the vast collective utopia that they see online. And sometimes, as on anonymous platforms like Yik Yak, what they see instead is a depressing cesspool of racism and misogyny. Yet young people are also extremely attached to their smartphones and apps, which sometimes bring them great pleasure. It is very much a love-hate relationship. While much of the public's attention has been focused on headline-grabbing stories, the everyday struggles and joys of young people have remained under the radar. Freitas brings their feelings to the fore, in the words of young people themselves. The Happiness Effect is an eye-opening window into their first-hand experiences of social media and its impact on them.

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.

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.