Discourses of happiness surround us in contemporary culture. Listen
to any pop song, and there is a reasonable chance that happiness
will feature somewhere in the words. Watch any advertisement, and
you will likely come across a product or service that promises to
improve your life in some way. We have also seen a proliferation of
the self-help industry in recent decades. This original and timely
book offers one of the first sociological analyses of the ways in
which people make sense of their experiences and perceptions of
happiness. Drawing on a range of accounts from qualitative
interviews, it documents how we make sense of happiness via a
distinctly therapeutic, individualized discourse, but
simultaneously, how the concept is also understood to be rooted in
social relationships and structures.
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