Alongside the surging popularity of positive psychology has come a quiet but significant chorus of dissenting voices, raising questions about the movement: that it is philosophically naive, that it uncritically employs natural science research methods, that it takes a separatist stance, is unable to comprehensively acknowledge its theoretical antecedents, and that it is too closely aligned with mainstream US values, beliefs and politics.
Positive Psychology and its Discontents offers the first book- length critique of the field, and proposes an alternative, more inclusive vision. At present positive psychology views other strands of knowledge as adversarial counter-ideologies it must compete with and ultimately discredit. Instead of this intellectual dead end, the authors propose a more productive dialogue with other branches of psychology and the social sciences, making positive psychology more philosophically informed and better able to understand the varying sociocultural contexts that influence and shape people’s ability to lead happy meaningful lives.
It will be important reading for students and researchers in psychology and its allied subject areas, and to interested practitioners within the fields of psychology, mental health, healthcare, education and social work.
Part One: Criticisms of Positive Psychology
Two: What Is Positive Psychology?
Three: Critiques of Positive Psychology
Four: Critiques of Applied Positive Psychology
Part Two: Re-envisioning Positive Psychology
Five: Continental Philosophy: An Alternative Philosophical & Theoretical Basis for Positive Psychology
Six: Sociocultural Forces & Reflexivity
Seven: Conclusion - Toward a Critical Positive Psychology