Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy
Happy Friday everyone! Actually, when was the last time that you experienced pure happiness? Real unrestrained joy?
Many of us, sadly, are feeling increasingly isolated and lonely. During Mental Health Awareness Week recently, leading figures including Alastair Campbell bravely discussed their experiences of depression; raising awareness, with a view to generating a collective understanding of, and sympathy for, those experiencing mental health issues.
So, the new book by Lynne Segal, Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy representing ‘a passionate call to rediscover the political and emotional joy that emerges when we share our lives’, is prescient and well-timed.
The book is being discussed widely, with reviews in the Financial Times and the Times Higher, and it is the focus of the most recent review in Gender Work and Organization. This review, by Ruth Weatherall, finds the book’s strength in its breadth – references to literature, film and art, underpinned by feminist, political, philosophical and social theory, combine with Segal’s own depth of experience in feminist movements and scholarly debate to create a powerful personal and practical account of the importance of reclaiming interpersonal connection and solidarity through collective joy.
From this perspective, Segal observes that the ‘single‐minded pursuit of individual happiness actually forms the foundations of misery’. But, as Weatherall notes, Segal seeks to overcome this isolationist conception of joy, with ‘a clear desire to seek the light in the darkness’, establishing ‘the place of joy, and particularly the public sharing of joy, in fostering a better future for us all’. To this end, with poor mental health a pressing public health issue, exacerbated by political upheaval and environmental uncertainty, Segal finds hope in the radical political potential of collective joy.
So once again – Happy Friday everyone! Let us explore all the possibilities for finding happiness and joy with each other.
You can read the review in Gender Work & Organization for free and please share with your friends and colleagues so that we can find ways of working together for a happier more positive future.
Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy by Lynne Segal is out in paperback and published by Verso.