Edgar Cabanas


Tomás y Valiente fellow


Work; Happiness; Productivity; Precarity; Mental health

Revisiting the “happy-productive worker thesis.” A new approach to the study of emotions.

Edgar Cabanas is a Ph.D. in psychology. He currently is a “Tomás y Valiente” Postdoctoral Fellow at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and the Madrid Institute for Advance Study (MIAS). He has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Universidad Camilo José Cela (UCJC) (“Programa de Atracción del Talento,” co-funded by the Community of Madrid, Spain) (2018-2022), and a Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-2018) at the Center for the History of Emotions (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin). He is the author of Manufacturing Happy Citizens (Polity), co-written with Eva Illouz and translated into more than ten languages, as well as the author of numerous scientific papers and book chapters in the fields of critical happiness studies and mental health at work. He is the co-editor of The Routledge’s Handbook of Global Therapeutic Cultures and Routledge’s series on Therapeutic Cultures since 2018, as well as a participant researcher in various International Research Projects.

The research project studies the contextual determinants of workplace happiness and job performance using a mixed methodological approach. As work and employment conditions have become more precarious worldwide, analyzing what, why, and how working conditions impact workers emotionally has gained particular significance and relevance in recent years. The polyhedric nature of both happiness and performance, however, requires new theoretical and methodological approaches able to grasp the complexity of the phenomena, provide a more precise and context-sensitive operationalization of mental health at work, and account for the complex set of patterns emerging from the relationship between wellbeing and productivity depending on the type of work, the working environment, and workers’ sociodemographic features. This project aims to provide such an innovative theoretical and methodological framework from a psychosocial perspective that also brings together the most significant developments in the topic from the disciplines of social psychology, sociology of work, and health epidemiology.

- Cabanas, Edgar, and Jara González-Lamas. 2022. “Varieties of Happiness: Mapping Lay Conceptualizations of Happiness in a Spanish Sample”. Psychological Reports 0 (0). DOI: 10.1177/00332941221133011.

- Cabanas, Edgar. 2020. “Experiencing designs and designing experiences: Emotions and theme parks from a symbolic interactionist perspective”. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management. DOI: 10.1016/j.jdmm.2018.12.004.

- Cabanas, Edgar, and Eva Illouz. 2019. Happycracia. Cómo la ciencia y la industria de la felicidad controlan nuestras vidas. Barcelona: Paidós.

- Cabanas, Edgar. 2018. “Psytizens, or the Construction of Happy Individuals in Neoliberal Societies.” In Emotions as Commodities. Capitalism, Consumption and Authenticity, ed. Eva Illouz. London: Routledge, 173-196.

- Cabanas, Edgar, and José Carlos Sánchez-González. 2016. “Inverting the Pyramid of Needs: Positive Psychology´s New Order for Labor Success.” Psicothema 28(2): 107–13. DOI: 10.7334/psicothema2015.267.





08/05/2018 - 22min 9s - Espagnol