Social Happiness

Theory into Policy and Practice

Neil Thin

Social Happiness

Neil Thin

Distributed for Bristol University Press

302 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $45.95 ISBN: 9781847429193 Published March 2012 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $116.00 ISBN: 9781847429209 Published March 2012 For sale in North and South America only

In recent years, happiness has seized the imaginations of both social researchers and policymakers with remarkable speed. Social Happiness examines the achievements and potential of applied happiness scholarship in a variety of contexts and argues that progressive policies must explicitly consider happiness. Neil Thin expertly traces the rise of the theme of happiness in scholarship, policy, and moral discourse and then explores the practical implications for happiness studies in a range of social experiences, including relationship guidance, parenting, schooling, gender reform, work-life harmony, and rethinking old age.

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Part One: Happiness in policy discourse and research
1. Introduction: prosperity debates and the happiness lens
2. What really matters: concepts, evaluations and objections
3. Effects of happiness (and unhappiness)
4. Thinking ourselves happy: on the policy relevance of both subjectivity and objectivity
5. Who makes happiness happen? On emotion work and psychosocial contagion
6. Governance and responsiblity: towards the eudaimonic state?
7. Assessing happiness: measurement and beyond
8. Correlations and causal theories
Part Two: Social happiness in policy and practice
9. Love: fighting philophobia around the world
10. The shape of good hope: cultivating reasonable aspirations
11. Positive parenting and cheerful childlessness
12. Schooling for joy
13. New gender agendas: feel-good feminism for fun and fulfilment
14. Working for happiness, happily work, and work-life harmony
15. Shopping for happiness: corporate happwash and consumption ethics
16. Geronto-eudaimonics: late-life thriving for all
17. Conclusions: review and prospects

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