Postgraduate Course: Happiness: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (PGSP11063)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course will review the extent to which the social sciences have engaged with the topic of happiness from the Enlightenment to the present day. 'Happiness' will be broadly conceived, encompassing all subject appraisal of the quality of life and related matters such as aspiration and moties for this-worldly and other-worldly outcomes, and ethical judgements. Students will also address the literatures and policies relating to unhappiness and suffering and discuss the pathologism of the social sciences as a cause for inadequate explicit analysis of social and cultural dimensions of happiness. The course will review cultural concepts and philosophies relating to happiness (such as utilitarianism and ascetiscism), as well as looking at the evidence of real-world differences in the achievement of happiness in diverse contexts and life stages.
Course delivery includes 10 weekly 2-hour lecture-seminars which include substantial time for not only lecturer and student group presentations, but also plenary discussion of key concepts and debates, plus small group discussion.
There will also be at least one small group meeting of an hour each week for thematic group learning projects that run throughout the course and help students explore specific chosen themes in culture and happiness, and to prepare for coursework, class presentations, and long essays.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- show better appreciation of the importance of happiness as a topic in social analysis, social policies, and ethical debate
- show stronger awareness of the importance of evaluative judgement in social analysis, and of the deficiencies in evaluation that result from (a) inadequate cross-cultural perspectives, and (b) inadequate explicit attention to happiness as a criterion for judging social quality and quality of life
- show better awareness of the evidence concerning the achievement of happiness in diverse contexts worldwide, and of the gaps in understanding and evidence that that need to be addressed
- show an enriched understanding of the evolution of the social sciences through appreciating the ways in which happiness has been foregrounded in the past and backgrounded for the past 100 years
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr John Harries
Tel: (0131 6)50 4051
|Course secretary||Mr Adam Petras