FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2015, no. 25

 

A Review of N. SSORIN-CHAYKOV (comp.), TOPOGRAFIYA SCHASTYA: ETNOGRAFICHESKIE KARTY MODERNA [THE TOPOGRAPHY OF HAPPINESS: ETHNOGRAPHIC MAPS OF THE MODERN]. Moscow: NLO, 2013, 408 pp.

Evgeny Dobrenko

Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies
University of Sheffield, School of Languages and Cultures
Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Str., Sheffield S3 7RA, UK
e.dobrenko()sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract: This review of the The Topography of Happiness: Ethnographic Maps of the Modern evaluates the quality of the contributions that represent anthropological or sociological analysis of various “positive topics,” mainly in the post-Soviet context with several comparative cases. The book is criticized for its inconsistent theoretical treatment of the subject, which is only conceptualised in the editorial introduction, while other contributors mainly just mention happiness briefly to make a connection with their particular research topics. The review points out the differences between how the various texts tackle the topic, concluding that happiness is much more difficult to understand in the field of practise as opposed to the field of culture, where it is already medialised as a cultural product.

Keywords: happiness, ethnographic map of the Modern, “the industry of happyness”, “American dream”.

To cite: Dobrenko E., 'A Review of N. Ssorin-Chaykov (comp.), Topografiya schastya: Etnograficheskie karty moderna [The Topography of Happiness: Ethnographic Maps of the Modern]. Moscow: NLO, 2013, 408 pp.'Antropologicheskij forum, 2015, no. 25, pp. 165–172.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/025/dobrenko.pdf