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It asks what follows when we make our desires and even our own happiness conditional on the happiness of others: 'I just want you to be happy', 'I'm happy if you're happy'. Combining philosophy and feminist cultural studies, Sara Ahmed reveals the affective and moral work performed by the 'happiness duty', the expectation that we will be made happy by taking part in that which is deemed good, and that by being happy ourselves, we will make others happy. Ahmed maintains that happiness is a promise that directs us toward certain life choices and away from others.

Happiness is promised to those willing to live their lives in the right way. Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression sometimes causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including "Mrs. Dalloway", "The Well of Loneliness", "Bend It Like Beckham", and Children of Men, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who are challenged by, and themselves challenge, the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant.

The Promise of Happiness

Through her readings, she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy. Read more Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item This provocative cultural critique of the imperative to be happy draws on the work of feminist, black, and queer critics showing how happiness is used to justify social oppression.

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Publisher Synopsis "Ahmed's language is a joy, and her work on each case study is filled with insight and rigor as she doggedly traces the social networks of dominance concealed and congealed around happiness. User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Be the first. Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers.

View most popular tags as: tag list tag cloud. Similar Items Related Subjects: 7 Happiness. Social norms. Social control. Soziale Norm.

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User lists with this item 5 queer theory 85 items by schusterp updated Linked Data More info about Linked Data. All rights reserved. Remember me on this computer. Cancel Forgot your password? Sara Ahmed. Print book : English View all editions and formats. View all subjects.

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Online version: Ahmed, Sara, Promise of happiness. Sara Ahmed Find more information about: Sara Ahmed.

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Introduction: why happiness, why now? Home About Help Search. You can see more of Fanny Shorter's work here. Mechanism: ST, 20 jewel automatic mechanical - this means the watch has no battery, instead it's powered by your movement. Smallest strap diameter: mm - contact us if you need extra holes added to the strap. We aim to dispatch all orders placed before 2pm GMT , on the same day working day.

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Duke University Press - The Promise of Happiness

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