LECTURE: The Good Life: German Eggs, Guatemalan Coffee, and the Anthropology of Wellbeing


Location: C103 Hesburgh Center

Ted Fischer, Professor of Anthropology
Director, Center for Latin American Studies
Vanderbilt University

We may all want to live the good life, but we differ widely, and sometimes violently, on just what that is and the best way to achieve it. In this talk Fischer looks at well-being in two radically different places—rural Guatemala and urban Germany—to tease out the commonalities behind the apparent differences. Looking at how people engage markets in pursuit of the good life, he argues that institutional structures as well as moral values mold our experiences of well-being and deprivation. He finds that dignity and commitment to a larger purpose are key elements of wellbeing.