By Luka Zevnik
This e-book offers an interdisciplinary exploration of the origins of happiness within the smooth Western tradition and makes the argument that happiness isn't common yet is as a substitute a culturally and traditionally particular adventure, attribute simply to the Western global. It starts off with an summary of the most examine techniques to happiness after which reviews the real yet elusive subject within the context of tradition and kinfolk of strength. the second one a part of the booklet analyses the social, non secular, moral and political strategies that bring about the emergence of the event of happiness, together with purchaser tradition in modern societies. It provides an research of the medieval Christian adventure which concludes that the fashionable adventure of happiness merely emerged within the seventeenth and 18th century, whilst the correct of human lifestyles more and more began to be pursued within the current lifestyles. In its end, this publication explores the concept that of modernization because the collective pursuit of happiness.
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Additional resources for Critical Perspectives in Happiness Research: The Birth of Modern Happiness
We can describe this or that discourse as being more or less useful and as having more or less desirable consequences. 154). 241), is that ‘we need to anthropologize the West; show how exotic its constitution of reality has been; emphasize those domains most taken for granted as universal (this includes epistemology and economics (and also happiness studies; LZ)); make them seem as historically peculiar as possible; show how their claims to truth are linked to social practices and have, hence, become effective forces in the social world’.
227). In our case, how has happiness become something so self-evident, universal and central in Western culture? In addition, the Foucauldian approach refuses modern epistemology and thoroughly adopts the positions of anti-representationalism, anti-foundationalism and positionality, which are not adopted only when analyzing the present, but also to the realm of historical analysis. 462). 200) provides the tools for a more thorough historical analysis of the experience of happiness in Western culture than the history of ideas.
However, we have also pointed out some problematic—mostly theoretical—issues and lacunae with the cultural perspective and anthropology of wellbeing approaches that were illuminated with the help of postmodern anthropology and cultural studies. Namely, in order for these approaches to be able to discover differences in cultural construction of well-being across cultures, they also have to implicitly or explicitly articulate certain universal criteria for what counts as a cultural construction of well-being, which, strictly speaking, can also be ethnocentric.
Critical Perspectives in Happiness Research: The Birth of Modern Happiness by Luka Zevnik