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Developing emotional well-being: Progressive social policy or state intrusion?

Business School Main Lecture Theatre (G12)
Research, Social Sciences, Teaching
Thursday 10th March 2011 (17:15-19:00)
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Karen Wright, Vice-Chancellor's Office. Tel: 0121 414 5937. Email:

An inaugural lecture by Professor Kathryn Ecclestone, Professor of Education and Social Inclusion from the School of Education.

It is difficult to challenge the widely held view that social policy and practice should develop well-being. In very similar ways to the previous government, the Coalition regards behavioural psychology as key to changing people’s emotional behaviours and responses, their subjective perceptions of well-being, and for measuring well-being. Current policy now embraces notions of individual and communal ‘resilience’.

In the face of widespread agreement that such interventions and measures are progressive, there has been very little public debate. In response, this lecture explores whether policy and practice in this area can be seen as progressive, and highlights new questions about how the state, individuals, families and communities should develop human well-being.

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