Culture and Well-Being: Anthropological Approaches to Freedom and Political Ethics

Alberto Corsin Jimenez

Culture and Well-Being: Anthropological Approaches to Freedom and Political Ethics

Alberto Corsin Jimenez

Distributed for Pluto Press

216 pages | 5 1/3 x 8 1/2
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780745326801 Published January 2008 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

The concept of well-being has emerged as a key category of social and political thought, especially in the fields of moral and political philosophy, development studies and economics.

This book takes a critical look at the notion of well-being by examining what well-being means, or could mean, to people living in a number of different regions including Sudan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, India, Sierra Leone and the UK.

The contributors take issue with some of the assumptions behind Western concepts of well-being. They explore what characterises a ‘good life’ and how this idea has been affected by globalisation and neoliberalism. The book makes a major contribution to social theory by presenting new analytical models that make sense of the changing shapes of people’s life and ethical values.


Notes on contributors
Well-being's re-proportioning of social thought
Alberto Corsín Jiménez
Part I: Distributive values
1. The impossibility of wellbeing: development language and the pathologisation of Nepal
Ian Harper and Bryan Maddox
2. Good ways and bad ways: transformations of law and mining in Papua New Guinea1
Eric Hirsch
Part II. Persons
3. Well-being: in whose opinion, and who pays?
Wendy James
4. Primed for well-being: young people, diabetes and insulin pumps
Griet Scheldeman
5. On well-being, being well and well-becoming: on the move with hospital porters
Nigel Rapport
Part III: Proportionalities
6. Measuring--or practicing--well-being?
Michael Lambek
7. 'Realising the substance of their happiness': how anthropology forgot about homo gauisus
Neil Thin
8. The intension and extension of well-being: transformation in diaspora Jain understandings of non-violence
James Laidlaw
9. Well-being in anthropological balance: remarks on proportionality as political imagination
Alberto Corsín Jiménez

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