On Happiness

Barbara Rose Johnston, Elizabeth Colson, Dean Falk, Graham St John, John H. Bodley, Bonnie J. McCay, Alaka Wali, Carolyn Nordstrom, Susan Slyomovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


What do anthropologists have to say about happiness? For some contributors in this Vital Topics Forum, happiness is a sensory force that colors and shapes human evolution and experience. Others consider happiness, or the lack thereof, to be a faceted reflection of the arrangements in society. All recognize the potential power of human happiness, where a distant memory, fleeting experience, or idealized vision can serve as a driving force in transformative change, prompting individual and collective desire and action to give new meaning, sustain life and livelihood, restore dignity, make peace... to dream again.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-18
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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