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Culture and Subjective Well-Being

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Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS,volume 38)

Abstract

Subjective well-being (SWB) is composed of people’s evaluations of their lives, including pleasant affect, infrequent unpleasant affect, life satisfaction (LS). We review the research literature concerning the influence of culture on SWB. We argue that some types of well-being, as well as their causes, are consistent across cultures, whereas there are also unique patterns of well-being in societies that are not comparable across cultures. Thus, well-being can be understood to some degree in universal terms, but must also be understood within the framework of each culture. We review the methodological challenges to assessing SWB in different cultures. One important question for future research is the degree to which feelings of well-being lead to the same outcomes in different cultures. The overarching theme of the paper is that there are pancultural experiences of SWB that can be compared across cultures, but that there are also culture-specific patterns that make cultures unique in their experience of well-being.

Keywords

  • Life Satisfaction
  • Emotional Experience
  • Individualist Culture
  • Collectivist Culture
  • Social Indicator Research

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Tov, W., Diener, E. (2009). Culture and Subjective Well-Being. In: Diener, E. (eds) Culture and Well-Being. Social Indicators Research Series, vol 38. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2352-0_2

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