January 24

First day of classes.


January 29

Gregg Easterbrook, "The Great Story of our Era: Average People Better Off." In The Progress Paradox (Random House, 2003), 3-34.

John De Graaf et al, "An Ache for Meaning," "Social Scars" and "Resource Exhaustion." In Affluenza, 2nd ed. (Berrett Koehler, 2005), 68-94.

Heinz-Herbert Noll, Part 1 of "Social Indicators and Social Reporting: The International Experience" (2000).

Quality of life: a definition

Conceptual tensions within QOL

Domains of QOL

The sociology of knowledge: Robert K. Merton

A sociology of QOL knowledge: David Brooks

International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies

Gil Scott-Heron, "Whitey on the Moon" (1970)



January 31

Darrin M. McMahon, "The Highest Good." In Happiness: A History (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), 19-65.

Eudaimonia in early Greek life: Darrin M. McMahon

Social conditions for achieving happiness: Aristotle


February 5

Abraham Maslow, "A Theory of Human Motivation." Chap. 1 in Doherty & Etzioni, Voluntary Simplicity.

Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice, chaps. 1-5.

Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Self-actualization and individuality

Maslow: where Aristotle got it wrong

Satisfaction With Life Scale


February 7

Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice, chaps. 6, 8, 9, 11.


"Happiness: Enough Already" (Newsweek, February 11, 2008).

Adaptation and the 'satisfaction paradox'

"In-Verse Thinking: Questions for Charles Simic" (New York Times Magazine, February 3, 2008).


February 12

Essay 1 due.

James B. Twitchell, "The Liberating Role of Consumption..." Chap. 11 in Doherty & Etzioni.

Advertising and QOL: Avner Offer

Marketing and consumer QOL: M. Joseph Sirgy



February 14

Clifford W. Cobb, pp. 1-14 of "Measurement Tools and the Quality of Life" (2000).

David A. Clark, "The Capability Approach: Its Development, Critiques, and Recent Advances" (2005).

Modernization theory: W.W. Rostow's theory of social change

Human development and QOL: Amartya Sen


February 19

Christian Welzel et al., "The Theory of Human Development: A Cross-Cultural Analysis." European Journal of Political Research 42 (2003): 341-379.

"Stifled, Egypt's Young Turn to Islamic Fervor" (New York Times, February 17, 2008).

Security vs. insecurity value systems: Ronald Inglehart

Inglehart-Welzel cultural map of the world


February 21

Marshall Sahlins, "The Original Affluent Society." In Stone Age Economics (Aldine Atherton, 1972), 1-40.

Rhythms of work in medieval England: Ian Blanchard



February 26

Ilene Philipson, "Less to Come Home to/Less to Go Out to." In Married to the Job (Free Press, 2002), 36-75.


February 28

Bianchi et al., Changing Rhythms of American Family Life, chaps, 1, 3-4.


March 4

Bianchi et al., Changing Rhythms of American Family Life, chaps. 5, 7-10.

"More Americans Are Giving Up Golf" (New York Times, February 21, 2008).


March 6

Essay 2 due.

Welfare regimes in developed countries

Family leave policies for 12 Western nations


March 9-22: Spring break


March 25

Stearns, Anxious Parents, esp. Chaps. 1-2, 4, 6-7.

The Dangerous Book for Boys (YouTube).

The Amazing Reading 1-Year-Old (YouTube).



March 27

Andrew Ross, "The Golden Children of Razorfish." In No Collar (Basic Books, 2003), 55-86.


April 1

Ciulla, The Working Life, chaps. 1, 3-4, 7-8.


April 3

Ciulla, The Working Life, chaps. 10-11, Epilogue.

"Forget the Career. My Parents Need Me at Home" (New York Times, November 24, 2005).

How work and QOL are understood today.

The Quality of Working Life Movement.


April 8

Essay 3 due.



April 10

James Howard Kunstler, "Home From Nowhere." Atlantic Monthly, September 1996.

US City Sustainability Rankings (2006).

What Makes a Successful Place? (Project for Public Spaces).

Cities Ranked & Rated: the "quality of life" category.

Urban planning and quality of life: Alexander Garvin.


April 15

O'Toole, The Best-Laid Plans, Introduction, Parts 2-3.

"Fuel Choices, Food Crises and Finger-Pointing" (New York Times, April 15, 2008).

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., "The Next President's First Task (A Manifesto)" (Vanity Fair, May 2008).


April 17

O'Toole, The Best-Laid Plans, Parts 4, 6.

Claude Fischer, "Ever More Rooted Americans," City & Community 1 (2002): 177-198.


April 22

Amitai Etzioni, "Voluntary Simplicity." Introduction in Doherty & Etzioni, Voluntary Simplicity.

Juliet Schor, "The Problem of Over-Consumption." Chap. 4 in Doherty & Etzioni, Voluntary Simplicity.

Duane Elgin and Arnold Mitchell, "Voluntary Simplicity: A Movement Emerges." Chap. 9 in Doherty & Etzioni, Voluntary Simplicity.

Bill McKibben website.

The Anti-Communitarian Manifesto.

Living Outside the Dialectic.



April 24

Robert Frank, "Achieving Collective Well-Being Through Greater Simplicity: A Simple Proposal." Chap. 5 in Doherty & Etzioni, Voluntary Simplicity.

David Brooks, "Conspicuous 'Simplicity'." Chap. 10 in Doherty & Etzioni, Voluntary Simplicity.

Cecile Andrews: Circle of Simplicity.

Whole Earth Catalog.

"Say 'Hybrid' and Many People Will Hear 'Prius'" (New York Times, July 4, 2007).

Utilitarianism and individual preferences: Clifford W. Cobb.


April 29

Grigsby, Buying Time and Getting By, chaps. 1-3.

Individualism and moral commitment: Robert Bellah et al.


May 1

Grigsby, Buying Time and Getting By, chaps. 4-5.

"For 'EcoMoms,' Saving Earth Begins at Home" (New York Times, February 16, 2008).


May 6

Essay 4 due.


Friday, May 16

Final paper due.