The concept of well-being has emerged as a key category of social and political thought, especially in the fields of moral and political philosophy, development studies and economics.
This book takes a critical look at the notion of well-being by examining what well-being means, or could mean, to people living in a number of different regions including Sudan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, India, Sierra Leone and the UK.
The contributors take issue with some of the assumptions behind Western concepts of well-being. They explore what characterises a 'good life' and how this idea has been affected by globalisation and neoliberalism. The book makes a major contribution to social theory by presenting new analytical models that make sense of the changing shapes of people's life and ethical values.
Alberto Corsin Jimenez is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, Spain. He is the author of An Anthropological Trompe l'Oeil for a Common World (Berghahn, 2013) and editor of Culture and Well-Being (Pluto, 2007) and The Anthropology of Organisations (Routledge 2007).
Acknowledgements Notes on contributors Introduction Well-being's re-proportioning of social thought by Alberto Corsin Jimenez Part I: Distributive values 1. The impossibility of wellbeing: development language and the pathologisation of Nepal by Ian Harper and Bryan Maddox 2. Good ways and bad ways: transformations of law and mining in Papua New Guinea1 by Eric Hirsch Part II. Persons 3. Well-being: in whose opinion, and who pays? by Wendy James 4. Primed for well-being: young people, diabetes and insulin pumps by Griet Scheldeman 5. On well-being, being well and well-becoming: on the move with hospital porters by Nigel Rapport Part III: Proportionalities 6. Measuring--or practicing--well-being? by Michael Lambek 7. 'Realising the substance of their happiness': how anthropology forgot about homo gauisus by Neil Thin 8. The intension and extension of well-being: transformation in diaspora Jain understandings of non-violence by James Laidlaw 9. Well-being in anthropological balance: remarks on proportionality as political imagination by Alberto Corsin Jimenez Index