The recent Positive Psychology movement aims to generate research and theory that enables people to achieve happiness and well-being. This chapter offers a critique of Positive Psychology from a Social Constructionist perspective, problematizing some of its underlying, taken-for-granted assumptions. It locates these within a broader neo-liberal project whereby individuals are seen as agents, responsible and accountable for their own well-being. Through the examples of psychometrics and worker well-being, the chapter argues that Positive Psychology forms part of the modern ‘project of the self’, illustrating the influence of disciplinary power as conceptualized by Foucault. The chapter concludes that Positive Psychology ignores the web of power relations and structural inequalities within which people live their lives and which not only define for people what counts as happiness and well-being, but also place limitations on their capacity to achieve these.
|Title of host publication||Routledge International Handbook of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology|
|Subtitle of host publication||Critiques, Problems, and Alternatives to Psychological Ideas|
|Editors||Brent D. Slife, Stephen C. Yanchar, Frank C. Richardson|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Dec 2021|
|Name||Routledge International Handbooks|