The accomplishment of happiness: feminism, pleasure, heterosexuality and consumption

Victoria Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores some of the available sociological orientations towards happiness, linking these with feminist debates about pleasure, heterosexuality, agency and consumption, as well as utilizing my own autobiographical narrative from working with other feminists over the years in academia. Its central premise is that feminist debates and concerns can take forward sociological debates on happiness in new directions and in more nuanced ways. Conversely, current sociological theorizing on happiness can inform contemporary feminist debates on the key issues that I focus on. Two UK ESRC case studies on mundane heterosexualities and footwear, identity and transition are utilized to argue for the need to see happiness as an accomplishment that is achieved within social relationships, and through the life course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number1
Early online date17 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

©2016, Informa UK Ltd.This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • agency
  • consumption
  • Feminism
  • happiness
  • heterosexuality
  • pleasure

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