The panel will discuss how wellbeing is understood in different cultural and community contexts and suggest how this may challenge universalist approaches. It will consider the contribution of anthropology to cross- and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Increasing interest in wellbeing in academic and policy circles has drawn heavily on psychology and/or economics and largely ignored the anthropological tradition. The construction of well-being in any culture and community depends on historical, socio-economic and subjective understanding of wellbeing which varies in different communities and societies. It may be important to examine how meaning and manifestations of wellbeing change across societies and across times. This may help us in developing a better understanding of wellbeing from cross-cultural and sub-cultural perspectives. This panel invites papers which present anthropological research grounded in particular experiences of wellbeing and reflections on the politics of discourses on personhood. The panel will discuss how local perspectives challenge or confirm apparently global, universalist constructions, and the implications of taking wellbeing as a focus for anthropological enquiry.