Happiness Industry

William Davies’ The Happiness Industry argues “that the psychological state of the individual now becomes a target for the accumulation of capital—to the extent that it is no longer clear whether pharmaceutical products are created to treat illnesses, or ‘disorders’ themselves are defined into existence to conjure a market for drugs.”

Davies explains mental illnesses don’t have to explained. “Psychiatric insight into the recesses and conflicts of the human self was replaced by a dispassionate, scientific guide for naming symptoms,” he writes.  “And in scrapping the possibility that a mental syndrome might be an understandable and proportionate response to a set of external circumstances, psychiatry lost the capacity to identify problems in the fabric of society or economy.”


Davies, W. (2015). The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being. 1st ed. Verso.


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