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Happiness Research: A Review of Critiques

Ashley Frawley Orcid Logo

Sociology Compass, Volume: 9, Issue: 1, Pages: 62 - 77

Swansea University Author: Ashley Frawley Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/soc4.12236

Abstract

This article examines critiques raised in response to the growing interest in 'happiness' across a range of academic disciplines. It presents three major areas of contention including the culture-bound and normative character of happiness, happiness research's reliance upon 'bad...

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Published in: Sociology Compass
Published: 2015
Online Access: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.chain.kent.ac.uk/doi/10.1111/soc4.12236/abstract
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa21488
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Abstract: This article examines critiques raised in response to the growing interest in 'happiness' across a range of academic disciplines. It presents three major areas of contention including the culture-bound and normative character of happiness, happiness research's reliance upon 'bad science' and scientism, and its tendency to promote a 'diminished subjectivity' and to individualise social problems. It argues that critique may represent the maturation of the field, but that the depth of some critiques points to the possibility that the explanatory power of happiness has reached its breaking point and is likely to be superseded.
Keywords: happiness, well-being, positive psychology, therapy culture
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Issue: 1
Start Page: 62
End Page: 77