Skip to content
Back to outputs

Happiness and memory: some sociological reflections

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

Happiness and memory : some sociological reflections. / Hyman, Laura.

In: Sociological Research Online, Vol. 19, No. 2, 01.05.2014, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Hyman, L 2014, 'Happiness and memory: some sociological reflections', Sociological Research Online, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.5153/sro.3268

APA

Vancouver

Author

Hyman, Laura. / Happiness and memory : some sociological reflections. In: Sociological Research Online. 2014 ; Vol. 19, No. 2. pp. 1-9.

Bibtex

@article{8db0ce98529549d88e979a6bd79c64bd,
title = "Happiness and memory: some sociological reflections",
abstract = "This article seeks to consider, in an exploratory fashion, the relationship between happiness and memory. Both of these areas of investigation are relative newcomers to sociology, and have rarely, if at all, been studied in tandem. The article draws upon data from qualitative interviews with British adults that formed part of an empirical study of people's experiences and perceptions of happiness. In doing so, it suggests that people identify their memories and reflections on the past as sources of happiness in two interrelated ways. Firstly, people - particularly those of an older generation - make sense of life in the past as happier than that of the present. This is the case with regard to society in general as well as to their personal lives specifically. The 'past-situated social identities' of older people are considered in relation to this. Secondly, adults of a range of ages understand reminiscing about the past as something from which happiness or pleasure could be gained. Life course transitions, and the way in which adults make sense of and live through these, are key in the way in which people express nostalgia for, or idealization of the past. Reconnecting with the past can be regarded as a 'technology of the self', or a technique that people perform on their own minds, in order to enable themselves to feel happier. The article ends with a consideration of the implications of this for the ways in which happiness is theorized sociologically.",
keywords = "happiness, memory, the past",
author = "Laura Hyman",
year = "2014",
month = may,
day = "1",
doi = "10.5153/sro.3268",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "1--9",
journal = "Sociological Research Online",
issn = "1360-7804",
publisher = "Sociological Research Online",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Happiness and memory

T2 - some sociological reflections

AU - Hyman, Laura

PY - 2014/5/1

Y1 - 2014/5/1

N2 - This article seeks to consider, in an exploratory fashion, the relationship between happiness and memory. Both of these areas of investigation are relative newcomers to sociology, and have rarely, if at all, been studied in tandem. The article draws upon data from qualitative interviews with British adults that formed part of an empirical study of people's experiences and perceptions of happiness. In doing so, it suggests that people identify their memories and reflections on the past as sources of happiness in two interrelated ways. Firstly, people - particularly those of an older generation - make sense of life in the past as happier than that of the present. This is the case with regard to society in general as well as to their personal lives specifically. The 'past-situated social identities' of older people are considered in relation to this. Secondly, adults of a range of ages understand reminiscing about the past as something from which happiness or pleasure could be gained. Life course transitions, and the way in which adults make sense of and live through these, are key in the way in which people express nostalgia for, or idealization of the past. Reconnecting with the past can be regarded as a 'technology of the self', or a technique that people perform on their own minds, in order to enable themselves to feel happier. The article ends with a consideration of the implications of this for the ways in which happiness is theorized sociologically.

AB - This article seeks to consider, in an exploratory fashion, the relationship between happiness and memory. Both of these areas of investigation are relative newcomers to sociology, and have rarely, if at all, been studied in tandem. The article draws upon data from qualitative interviews with British adults that formed part of an empirical study of people's experiences and perceptions of happiness. In doing so, it suggests that people identify their memories and reflections on the past as sources of happiness in two interrelated ways. Firstly, people - particularly those of an older generation - make sense of life in the past as happier than that of the present. This is the case with regard to society in general as well as to their personal lives specifically. The 'past-situated social identities' of older people are considered in relation to this. Secondly, adults of a range of ages understand reminiscing about the past as something from which happiness or pleasure could be gained. Life course transitions, and the way in which adults make sense of and live through these, are key in the way in which people express nostalgia for, or idealization of the past. Reconnecting with the past can be regarded as a 'technology of the self', or a technique that people perform on their own minds, in order to enable themselves to feel happier. The article ends with a consideration of the implications of this for the ways in which happiness is theorized sociologically.

KW - happiness

KW - memory

KW - the past

U2 - 10.5153/sro.3268

DO - 10.5153/sro.3268

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 1

EP - 9

JO - Sociological Research Online

JF - Sociological Research Online

SN - 1360-7804

IS - 2

ER -

ID: 1825982