Popular Culture and Wellbeing: Teamwork, Action, and Freedom


  • Sue Spaid Independent




With this paper, I introduce the notion of ameliorative art practices and develop the idea of ameliorative practices, more generally. Before articulating how various forms of popular culture might also engender wellbeing, I explain why wellbeing is such a hot topic and explore philosophy’s current interest in this topic. In light of Aristotle’s notion of eudaimonia, I view the fields of somaesthetics and everyday aesthetic activities as having wellbeing as their primary goal. In light of what philosophy and ameliorative art practices have taught us regarding the significance of wellbeing, it is increasingly obvious that certain forms of popular culture might also enhance well-being, a view that is either largely dismissed or has escaped philosophical inquiry. I end by reviewing art historian Claire Bishop’s classic critique of art’s ameliorative claims and Grant Kester’s response.