The Pursuit of Happiness
Who doesn’t want to be happy? But what exactly makes us happy? Discover how your individual surrounding, your family and friends, and social policy at large can produce greater happiness.
Name of minor:
The Pursuit of Happiness: Lessons of a New Science
Faculty of Social Sciences (FSW); Sociology
Other programmes which are contributing to the minor:
This course is about subjective enjoyment of life and deals with the following questions:
- What is 'happiness' precisely?
- (How) can happiness be measured?
- What makes for a happy life?
- What life choices will make you happy?
- How can we get happier than we are?
- To what extent can social policy bring about greater happiness for a greater number of people?
We will analyze the happiness of individuals and nations from a sociological perspective, to which we add psychology and economic insights. We map what we know about the causes and correlates of happiness, explain why some things matter more to our happiness than others, and discuss the implications of public policy for the happiness of nations.
At the end of the course, the student has gained insight into the causes and correlates of happiness of individuals and nations, and is able to:
- Apply sociological, psychological, and economic theory on happiness;
- Write a proposal for a theoretical or empirical research project on happiness applying gained theoretical and methodological knowledge;
- Write a theoretical or empirical paper, give a presentation of the main findings, and offer constructive feedback on the work of fellow students.
Students are required to have sufficient command of the English language.
Maximum number of students that can participate in the minor: 50
Minimum number of students that can participate in the minor: 20
Lectures and tutorials.
Books, articles and book chapters
Method of examination:
- Research paper and poster presentation (in pairs of students)
Composition of final grade:
- Research paper and presentation
- Research paper: oral comments on draft versions; review and discussion possibilities for final version
- Presentation: oral comments
Phone: (010) 408 2719