The Changing Nature of Happiness

An In-Depth Study of a Town in North West England 1938–2016

  • Sandie McHugh

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Martin Guha, Jerome Carson
    Pages 17-30
  3. John Haworth
    Pages 31-49
  4. Sandie McHugh, Jerome Carson
    Pages 69-85
  5. Robert Snape
    Pages 87-102
  6. Sandie McHugh
    Pages 129-141
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 143-152

About this book


This book shines a light on the meaning of happiness and how public perceptions of it have changed over time. A question that has engaged philosophers from the days of Aristotle, happiness is a subject of growing academic interest, and its recent integration into government policy is provoking increased debate into its definition and nature. Sandie McHugh and her associates build on the work of social anthropologist Tom Harrison’s ‘Worktown’ Mass Observation study from 1938, repeating the original study today. Together these accounts show how perceptions of happiness have changed over the years for the people of Bolton, UK, and reveal major difference between its definition then and now. This unique study is a useful tool in the understanding and study of happiness, offering invaluable insights for scholars and practitioners working in the fields of social psychology, positive psychology, health psychology and wellbeing. 


Positive Psychology Social Psychology Health psychology Cultural psychology Community psychology Happiness Wellbeing Leisure Comparative study Qualitative data Enjoyment

Editors and affiliations

  • Sandie McHugh
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Education and PsychologyUniversity of BoltonBoltonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information