Summary of The Happiness Industry

How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

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The Happiness Industry book summary
Businesses and governments are turning happiness into a requirement.


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Political economist William Davies, a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, discusses the official obsession with happiness. Happy workers are more productive, but today’s workers aren’t happy. Their frequent absences and general apathy cost billions of dollars in lost productivity every year. Managers and policy makers respond with programs to boost happiness. They hire happiness consultants, create positions like “chief happiness officer” and monitor social media for spikes in sad words. In dispassionate prose spiced with moments of dry humor, Davies offers a detailed, dense and depressing look at the increasingly pervasive monitoring and manipulation of people’s moods. getAbstract suggests this contrarian view to managers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and those who prefer to determine for themselves how they feel – happy or not.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why 21st-century businesses and governments seek to boost happiness, and
  • How the science of measuring and manipulating happiness developed.


The Happiness Regime
Worker disengagement undermines productivity, and pervasive mental illness strains government resources. The rising rates of depression and worker disengagement may explain why those in power in corporations and government now prioritize cultivating happiness. Business...
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About the Author

Political economist William Davies is a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is co-director of the Political Economy Research Center. He has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times and The New Statesman.

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    Ashish Agarwal 5 months ago
    Which is the world's happiest country - Denmark/ Switzerland or Bhutan?
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    Jim Getten 5 months ago
    This book makes me very happy.
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      Finlay Macrae 5 months ago
      Would the abstract give a similar level of happiness?
    • Avatar
      Ashish Agarwal 5 months ago
      How far is the reality from the 'utopia' laid out in the books? That difference then is your playground that you have to mend to achieve your goals.

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