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Gendering happiness and its discontents

Clisby, Suzanne


Suzanne Clisby


Providing an introductory framework to the Special Issue: Gendering Happiness: the power of pleasure, here I consider the highly gendered and political contexts of happiness, pleasure, desire, and the tyrannies of its converse discontents. As this special issue explores, pleasure and joy can be found in diverse contexts, but ones that are always intersectionally gendered and particularly situated. Just as the personal is political, happiness is not an individual, private emotion. Rather such emotions are socio-culturally situated, shifting through time and space, and embedded in normative social and moral codes regulating appropriate meanings of who should be happy, when, and how that happiness should be performed. Moreover, normative processes of gendering within socio-cultural patriarchal contexts or gender regimes can have significantly negative impacts on both women’s and men’s mental wellbeing. Through a gender analysis of happiness and its discontents we are able to locate and critically interrogate the intersections of gender and power at play in this complex politicised and structural arena of emotion.


Clisby, S. (2017). Gendering happiness and its discontents. Journal of gender studies, 26(1), (2-9). doi:10.1080/09589236.2017.1273362. ISSN 0958-9236

Journal Article Type Editorial
Acceptance Date Dec 7, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 25, 2017
Publication Date 2017
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 27, 2018
Journal Journal of gender studies
Print ISSN 0958-9236
Electronic ISSN 1465-3869
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 2-9
Keywords Happiness; Gender; Power; Pleasure; Tyranny; Desire; Patriarchy; Mental wellbeing
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull
Additional Information This is a description of an article which has been accepted for future publication in: Journal of gender studies. The article itself is not yet available for consultation.


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