In this chapter I will discuss why it is that the prevailing ideology of happiness – not only to academic scholars but also to a wider public – presents itself as a significant problem in contemporary late-modern society. More specifically, I will show how analytically fruitful it is to understand happiness – the potential that people need to pursue and are expected to work hard on to materialize and objectify – as an ideology. I will argue that a significant part of the problem with the current ideology of happiness is not only that it paves the way for an increasing number of mental disorders – because I think there is enough evidence to suggest that it does - but that it’s internalization is presented as an individual endeavour whose successful implementation relies on personal capabilities of controlling socio-structural supported norms and social rules that are in fact uncontainable. As such, the ideology of happiness informs us about important aspects of what it entails to be a human being in a late-modern society of performance.
|Title of host publication||Critical Happiness Studies|
|Editors||Nicholas Hill, Svend Brinkmann, Anders Petersen|
|Number of pages||18|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|