Sara Ahmed has written a highly original book on happiness by not focusing on the content, but on the context in which the word happiness is used. Her chapters are titled Feminist Killjoys, Unhappy Queers, Melancholic Mirgants and Happy Futures. Ahmed convincingly shows that the pursuit of happiness may have unintended side-effects in different social contexts, and she has collected al lot of stories and ideas that provide a backbone for the book. The ideological critique provided by Ahmed would have been a lot stronger if she would have used data from empirical studies to judge her own ideas.

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Applied Research in Quality of Life
Department of Sociology

Bergsma, A. (2011). The Loreley of Happiness. Applied Research in Quality of Life (Vol. 6, pp. 451–453). doi:10.1007/s11482-010-9136-0