You can not buy yourself for pleasure. Money is not the answer and you have to create your own joy by other means.
These are things we know as almost universal truths, and yet joy in recent times has become a large and lucrative business in most of the Western world. In many places, it has become a national goal to create happy citizens, and joy in the workplace has become one of the keywords in the executive corridor of any major company. Joy leads to lower health spending on public budgets, and joy leads to greater profits in neoliberal capitalism, so therefore the concept has spawned a million-dollar industry consisting of everything from self-help books to more or less credible gurus.
This is the starting point for a both thought-provoking and provocative analysis, which the Israeli researcher Eva Illouz and her Spanish colleague Edgar Cabanas present in a new book from Polity Press. Here they turn the spotlight on a phenomenon that is perceived across a broad comb as something positive and immensely human, and arrive at the conclusion that it is a lost culture full of less pleasant ulterior motives.
In their report, the development starts in 1998, then Martin seligman was elected president of the American Psychological Association (APA). At the time, the APA was the largest professional organization for psychologists in the United States.
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