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Happy and free: Bringing a practice of ease and kindness into the conceptual framing of sociological and social policy analyses
April 24, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pmFree
The UK Government’s recent ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy is mirrored to a greater or lesser extent in many formalised state-citizen interactions, ranging across areas as diverse as justice, taxation, public health and social assistance. A (negative) behavioural economics model of human behaviour has becomes a dominant paradigm in the design and implementation of policies across a range of areas, and there is mounting evidence that these are neither supporting societal nor individual well-being. There are beginning to be calls for new frameworks which focus more on emotional intelligence and include value-based outcomes such as feeling loved, safe, and respected. To this end, Alison explores how ‘a practice of ease and kindness’ might help policy makers and social scientists move towards such frameworks. Such a practice inevitably leads us to question how useful an ‘average-person’ indicator can be, in spite of the prevalence of its use across many aspects of public policy. It also highlights the problems of presuming and imposing a model of human behaviour onto individuals, where there is a clear mismatch to their situation in that moment.