Introduction to Wellbeing Research

Beverley Searle (Lead / Corresponding author), Jessica Pykett, Maria Alfaro Simmonds

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Wellbeing has emerged as a focus of research enquiry, international public policy, and an industry centred on feelings, identities and expressions of our existence. In this introductory chapter we explore what is meant by happiness and wellbeing across a range of research disciplines which have been instrumental in shaping global debates. Wellbeing is often seen as a goal with a focus on mechanisms for improving it. However, to address urgent concerns about inequalities in wellbeing we need to go beyond the rhetoric of promoting happiness. We argue wellbeing is also a driver of policy, behaviour and social action. It can simultaneously be seen as a guiding principal, a distraction from matters of deeper concern or a suspect means of psychological governance. By navigating through these differences and tensions, we set out our own framing of an inclusive wellbeing with a focus on the situated and socially differentiated experiences of wellbeing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA Modern Guide to Wellbeing Research
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
    ISBN (Print)9781789900156
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


    • wellbeing
    • emotional governance
    • policy
    • practices
    • relational
    • social research


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