In pursuit of the subject of happiness : a genealogy : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand /
This study is a Foucauldian genealogy of the truth and knowledge produced by the Science of Happiness, which is part of the Positive Psychology movement; this is a an historical analytic of the scientific truths and knowledges of the present. Psychological well-being, or happiness, has become a legitimate, and burgeoning, object of scientific inquiry since the formation of the Positive Psychology movement in 2000. The first section reviews the literature for findings from the new Science of Psychology and also reviews the literature on the use of the methodology of genealogy as a research practice. The second section contains the genealogy which, following Foucault's advice, starts with Descartes and the ruptures of the Enlightenment, following the transition of happiness from a matter of luck or chance or the gift of the gods, to a matter that man has control over and the Science of Psychology has an interest in. This section takes fragments of text from Descartes, Spinoza, Bacon, Locke, Blackstone, Jefferson, Bentham, Mill, Carlyle, Dickens, and Skinner to build the genealogy and to show the contingencies of the past that brought us to the scientific 'truths' of the present. The final section briefly reviews the genealogy and explores the trajectories for future work on the subjectivity produced by the scientific subject of happiness.