Cultural Construal of Wellbeing – Theories and Empirical Evidence

  • Yukiko UchidaEmail author
  • Yuji Ogihara
  • Shintaro Fukushima
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


To compare ideas about wellbeing and happiness in a global context, it is important to focus on the characteristics of the collectively shared concept of wellbeing among cultures, namely, the cultural construal of wellbeing. In this paper, we review cultural psychological research to illustrate the considerable variation in how people construe wellbeing at both the micro and macro levels. Particularly in Japan, wellbeing is construed as balance and harmony and it is achieved collectively. In addition, we argue that multi-level analysis has shown the importance of capturing collectively achieved wellbeing. Finally, we will discuss the cultural construal of wellbeing under globalization and how sustainable societies can be created in a global context in the future.


Subjective wellbeing Cultural construal of wellbeing Collectively achieved wellbeing Culture Multi-level analysis Globalization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yukiko Uchida
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yuji Ogihara
    • 2
  • Shintaro Fukushima
    • 3
  1. 1.Kokoro Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Uehiro Kokoro Studies, Kokoro Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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