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.
'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
Wellbeing is a multidimensional and multidisciplinary concept which draws on insights from across the humanities and social sciences. This series approaches these issues from an explicitly gendered perspective. It explores the ways in which gender impacts on all aspects of women’s and men’s wellbeing. It examines the extent to which women and men have used their agency to gain access to a decent, equitable and sustainable quality of life; and it explores the ways in which economic and social policies have sustained and enhanced wellbeing for women and men, both now and in the past.