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The Promise of Happiness

Whereas other feminist theorists also occasionally cast a critical eye toward happiness, or raise consciousness of female unhappiness, Ahmed has produced a volume that is unparalleled in its sustained and extensive expose' of the entanglements between discourses of happiness and oppression. How are we to get critical perspective on it? Through her readings of texts and films, Sara Ahmed shows how this might work. By revealing the complexity and ambivalence of happiness, she intervenes in several fields-including queer and feminist theory, affect studies, and critical race theory-in a genuinely new and exciting way.

Love, author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History At a time when happiness studies are all the rage and feminism is accused of destroying women's happiness, Sara Ahmed offers a bold critique of the consensus that happiness is an unconditional good.

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Her new book asks searching questions about the nature of the good life, making its case in a wonderfully pellucid prose. What a paradox that a defense of the kill-joy should be such a pleasure to read!

This timely, original, and intellectually expansive book is sure to trigger a great deal of debate. Reviews Schrijf een review. Kies je bindwijze. Op voorraad. Voor uur besteld, dinsdag in huis Levertijd We doen er alles aan om dit artikel op tijd te bezorgen.

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Andere verkopers 2. Anderen bekeken ook. Lauren Berlant Cruel Optimism 26, Sara Ahmed Queer Phenomenology 28, Sara Ahmed On Being Included 29, We're not encouraged to draw simple conclusions, but the prominence given to traditional symbols of renewal and redemption is highly suggestive. Cartwright is a writer of considerable distinction and some of his characteristic strengths are traceable here - most notably an eye for the minutiae of human behaviour and an ear finely attuned to the quirks and absurdities of contemporary speech.

But judged by the high standards he has set himself, this is a rather disappointing novel. Where White Lightning was sharply focused and rich with implied significance, The Promise of Happiness tends towards slackness and banality.

The Promise of Happiness – Social Text

Banality is, of course, a feature of the unredeemed world, but this doesn't entirely justify the patches of inert dialogue "'What a day. This is a pity because Cartwright clearly revels in fresh challenges, and The Promise of Happiness seems to mark an interesting shift of approach. That his achievement fails to match his apparent ambition shouldn't concern us unduly, or prevent us from looking forward to his next novel. Drawing on Children of Men and The Island , Ahmed takes special pains to point out that unhappiness should not replace happiness as an aim, but rather that happiness should no longer function as a telos for all human existence.

The Promise of Happiness. Jungle watch design by Fanny Shorter

In dismantling happiness, queer theory thus seeks to explore how this seemingly benign norm creates exclusionary narratives. In The Promise of Happiness , Sara Ahmed offers both queer and cultural scholars a unique perspective from which to examine issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia woven seamlessly into the fabric of our societies. By locating happiness — oft considered a universal — in affective objects, Ahmed provides a new lens through which to examine inequality and how inequality is mapped onto bodies.

Her arguments against happiness further extend the critical conversation regarding figures who may, at times, be left out of the queer conversation.

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Can we trouble the happiness of the single white male? How do we fetishize happiness? In what ways does fetishizing happiness manifest itself in our corporeality? In what ways do we commodify happy objects for production and subsequent consumption? The Promise of Happiness leaves us perhaps with more questions than answers, but Sara Ahmed has offered an analysis that will surely be invaluable as affect studies moves forward thanks to its relative accessibility and wide-ranging applicability.

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