This book is the first of four books based on a series of symposia funded by COST, which is an intergovernmental framework for the promotion of European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research. It draws on both historical and contemporary European case-studies to offer a sophisticated account of the relationship between gender and well-being. The authors focus on key discussions of the changing conceptions of well-being from early twentieth century calculations of the relationship between income and the cost-of-living, to more recent critiques from feminist writers. Their fascinating answers allow them to significantly challenge the issue with the idea that well-being is not only associated with income or opulence but also relates to more abstract concepts including capabilities, freedom, and agency of different women and men and will be of considerable interest to economic and social historians, sociologists of health, gender, sexuality and economists.
Bernard Harris is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde. He has published widely in areas relating to the history of health and well-being and the history of social policy. He has edited or coedited books on Race, science and medicine 1700-1960 (Routledge, 1999), Charity and mutual aid in Europe and North America (Routledge, 2007), Gender and wellbeing in historical and comparative perspective (Ashgate, 2009), and Welfare and old age (Pickering and Chatto, 2012). He has also authored or co-authored books on The health of the schoolchild (Open University Press, 1995), The origins of the British welfare state (Palgrave, 2004), and The changing body: health, nutrition and human development in the western world since 1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2011). He is due to become one of three co-editors of the Voluntary Sector Review in 2015. Lina GÃ¡lvez MuÃ±oz is Professor of Economic History at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, Spain, and a member of the Economic History Research Institute Laureano Figuerola at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Business History at the University of Reading, UK. Her most recent book is EstadÃsticas Historicas del Mercado de Trabajo en AndalucÃa (2006), and she has co-edited a number of books and special journal issues, including Managing Foreign Companies in the United States (2004). Helena Machado is Professor of Sociology at the University of Minho, Portugal, and Deputy Director of the university's Sociology Research Unit. She is the author of Moralizing Maternity, Biologizing Paternity (forthcoming) and the Handbook of Sociology of Crime (forthcoming), and she is the co-editor of Scientific Proofs and International Justice: the Future for Scientific Standards in Global Environmental Protection and International Trade (2005).
'This fine book offers an important contribution to our understanding of the many dimensions of well-being. The historical and contemporary studies in this volume demonstrate that for a proper understanding of human well-being, we have to pay due attention to gender issues. Students, scholars and policy makers across the social sciences and humanities will find this a valuable collection.' Ingrid Robeyns, Erasmus University, The Netherlands 'This collection explores the impact of economic and social change on male and female lives. Inspired by Amartya Sen's influential critique of traditional indicators of well-being, the authors bring fresh ideas to his capability perspective. The contributors display practical experience, deep historical understanding and a willingness to talk across time, space, and disciplines. The result will be of great value to researchers in this hugely important field.' Jane Humphries, University of Oxford, UK