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The emergence of wellbeing in late modern capitalism: Theory, research and policy responses

The emergence of wellbeing in late modern capitalism: Theory, research and policy responses

La Placa, Vincent and Knight, Anneyce (2017) The emergence of wellbeing in late modern capitalism: Theory, research and policy responses. International Journal of Social Science Studies, 5 (3). ISSN 2324-8033 (Print), 2324-8041 (Online) (doi:

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This article outlines a historical and theoretical framework that traces the historical and discursive emergence of the concept of wellbeing as a consequence of the decline of traditional capitalism and modernity and the subsequent shift to a late modern capitalist economy. On the structural level, this shift precipitates a new type of consumption that not only characterises the productive and physical capacity of the economy and products, but cascades into the social construction of multiple discursive, symbolic and cultural products, images, and forms of information and meanings, from wellbeing emerges. This process has consequences for individuals in late modernity as they navigate through a world where life-worlds, security and relationships are disrupted and require new forms of revising and responding to change. Consequently, wellbeing further establishes a means of responding and adapting to, for instance, changing lives, circumstances, security, and happiness. The emergence of wellbeing as a significant component of social policy discourses has also precipitated debate around the types of research and policy responses relevant to the study of wellbeing. As a result, the article also prescribes an epistemology founded upon a 'cultural' and 'relational' approach that can effectively underpin research and social policies relevant to wellbeing in late modern capitalism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge."
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wellbeing; Capitalism; Late modernity; Social policy; Epistemology and research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Health & Society Research Group
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2020 13:03
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 3

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