Introduction. The many faces of wellbeing

Sarah White

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This chapter provides a critical introduction to the four main faces of wellbeing and happiness in public policy, and the key concepts and methods that underlie them. Arguing against the reification of wellbeing as a ‘real thing’ that people may ‘have’, it maintains that constructions of wellbeing are intrinsically connected to the contexts in which they are generated and the research methods by which they are produced. It describes the methodological issues that arise in wellbeing research, challenges the dominance of quantitative methods and indicates the contribution of qualitative and mixed methods approaches. It introduces the chapters to come and how they address these questions and speak to the wider literature, and to the integration of wellbeing in policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultures of Wellbeing
Subtitle of host publicationMethod, Place, Policy
EditorsSarah White
Place of PublicationBasingstoke, U. K.
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages44
ISBN (Print)9781137536440
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2015


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