This article explores the political and intellectual influences behind the growth of interest in happiness and the emergence of the new 'science of happiness'. It offers a critique of the use of subjective wellbeing indicators within indexes of social and economic progress, and argues that the proposed United Kingdom's National Well-being Index is over-reliant on subjective measures. We conclude by arguing that the mainstreaming of happiness indicators reflects and supports the emergence of 'behavioural social policy'.
- happiness - subjective wellbeing - inequality - social indicators
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law