Wellbeing and Place. A collection of essays edited by Sarah Atkinson, Sara Fuller, and Joe Painter, Durham University, UK. Published by Ashgate.
The last twenty years have witnessed an important movement in the aspirations of public policy beyond meeting merely material goals towards a range of outcomes captured through the use of the term ‘wellbeing’. Nonetheless, the concept of wellbeing is itself ill-defined, a term used in multiple different contexts with different meanings and policy implications.
Bringing together a range of perspectives, this volume examines the intersections of wellbeing and place, including immediate applied policy concerns as well as more critical academic engagements. . Conceptualisations of place, context and settings have come under critical examination, and more nuanced and varied understandings are drawn out from both academic and policy-related research. Whilst quantitative and some policy approaches treat place as a static backdrop or context, others explore the interrelationships of emotional, social, cultural and experiential meanings that are both shape place and are shaped in place. Similarly, wellbeing may be understood as a relatively stable and measurable entity or as a more situation-dependent and relational effect.
The book is structured into two sections: essays that explore the dynamics that determine wellbeing in relation to place and essays that explore contested understandings of wellbeing both empirically and theoretically.