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A Modern Guide to Wellbeing Research

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A Modern Guide to Wellbeing Research

9781789900156 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Beverley A. Searle, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee, Jessica Pykett, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Institute for Mental Health, University of Birmingham and Maria Jesus Alfaro-Simmonds, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
Publication Date: June 2021 ISBN: 978 1 78990 015 6 Extent: 328 pp
This insightful Modern Guide explores heterodox approaches to modern wellbeing research, with a specific focus on how wellbeing is understood and practised, exploring policies and actions which are taken to shape wellbeing. It evaluates contemporary trends in wellbeing research, including the sometimes competing definitions, methods and approaches offered by different disciplinary perspectives.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
Contents
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This insightful Modern Guide explores heterodox approaches to modern wellbeing research, with a specific focus on how wellbeing is understood and practised, exploring policies and actions which are taken to shape wellbeing. It evaluates contemporary trends in wellbeing research, including the sometimes competing definitions, methods and approaches offered by different disciplinary perspectives.
 
Exploring the threats to wellbeing from the environments we inhabit and the situations societies create and endure, chapters particularly look at wellbeing inequalities and the experiences of marginalised groups, demonstrating the connection between wellbeing and political struggle. Provocative commentaries from leading scholars plus chapters on original theoretical developments and research studies across diverse world regions reveal wellbeing research based on situated practices, social differences and specific cultural contexts. This Modern Guide assesses the influence and impact of wellbeing research on policy and practice across a range of sectors and spaces, including: wellbeing budgeting, nature-based interventions, urban design, environmental resource management, prisons, housing, international migration, and post-conflict situations.
 
This will be a useful read for scholars of human geography, social policy, urban studies, anthropology, political science and environmental economics. Policy makers will also appreciate the suggestions for improvement to wellbeing policies and practices.
Critical Acclaim
‘A powerful, thought-provoking and timely contribution, offering new insights that will greatly enhance our understanding of well-being and its determinants.’
– Dimitris Ballas, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

‘Wellbeing has been a vibrant field of research across a number of disciplines for several years. However, the experience of the pandemic, which has exposed deeply ingrained inequalities and injustices, makes the concept more relevant than ever. The pandemic raises the possibility of transformational change that could lead to a refocusing of policy goals away from narrowly-defined economic indicators to those focused on a multidimensional conception of wellbeing. As such, this volume is incredibly well timed. It brings together contributions from across the social sciences to demonstrate how understanding the ways in which wellbeing is mobilised as a concept in research, practice and policy is central to these endeavours. In highlighting practice-based approaches the volume reflects on how wellbeing could form the foundation of a post-pandemic world. In doing so, it provides a rich and valuable contribution not only to wellbeing scholarship but also to practical debates on how to take this agenda forward most effectively.’
– Ian Bache, University of Sheffield, UK

‘An essential practical aide for charting the challenges facing us today with the ambition they merit, A Modern Guide to Wellbeing Research offers guidance for actions and policies to improve wellbeing while casting some light on the different understandings of this important, but complex concept.’
– Katherine Trebeck, Wellbeing Economy Alliance

‘Wellbeing is the overarching aim of social science and needs a multidisciplinary dialogue and approach. For sustainable, inclusive well-being as both a goal and process we need to draw on the strengths of all academic disciplines. You won’t agree with everything here, I don’t, but that’s the point as we work out what really matters, how we can study it and how to use that knowledge in practice.’
– Nancy Hey, Executive Director, What Works Centre for Wellbeing, UK
Contributors
Contributors include: M.J. Alfaro-Simmonds, S. Atkinson, F. Azmi, K. Biedenweg, B. Bock, M. Cieslik, K. Dombroski, S.J. Elliott, H. Gittins, M. Górczyńska-Angiulli, A. Grimes, M. Hendriks, L. Kapinga, E. Machline, V. Morrison, J. Pykett, B.A. Searle, T. Smith, F. Tartarini, N. Thin, D.J. Trimbach, D. Watson, S. Wynne-Jones, J. Zielke 
Contents
Contents:

Foreword xiv
Katherine Trebeck, Wellbeing Economy Alliance
1 Introduction to wellbeing research 1
Beverley A Searle, Jessica Pykett and Maria Jesus Alfaro-Simmonds

PART I APPROACHING WELLBEING
2 Commentary to Part I: reanimating the radical possibilities
of wellbeing 23
Sarah Atkinson
3 Towards a queer epistemological framework for wellbeing
research 29
Julia Zielke
4 A Marxian approach to wellbeing: human nature and use value 51
David Watson
5 Developing qualitative, biographical research into
happiness and wellbeing: a sociological perspective 68
Mark Cieslik
6 Practicing wellbeing through community economies: an
action research approach 84
Thomas SJ Smith and Kelly Dombroski

PART II PRACTICING WELLBEING
7 Commentary to Part II: a wellbeing lens in practice 104
Neil Thin
8 Prisoners’ rehabilitation and wellbeing: a psychosocial
perspective 110
Fabio Tartarini
9 Gender and wellbeing in post-war Sri Lanka 129
Fazeeha Azmi
10 Wellbeing and inclusion: a place for religion 148
Laura Kapinga and Bettina Bock
11 Children experiencing happiness in the city 164
Maria Jesus Alfaro-Simmonds
12 Housing inequalities and wellbeing: a critical analysis of
narratives from stakeholders in Luxembourg 184
Magdalena Górczyńska-Angiulli, Elise Machline
13 Woodlands and wellbeing: evaluating the ‘Actif Woods
Wales’ programme 205
Heli Gittins, Sophie Wynne-Jones and Val Morrison

PART III WHERE NEXT FOR WELLBEING?
14 Commentary to Part III: wellbeing: a means for informed
policy-making 227
Susan J Elliott
15 Who benefits and who suffers from international
migration? Global evidence from the science of happiness 232
Martijn Hendriks
16 Human wellbeing in environmental management 245
Kelly Biedenweg and David J Trimbach
17 Budgeting for wellbeing 266
Arthur Grimes
18 Subjective wellbeing and transformation 282
Beverley A Searle

Index

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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