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Understanding Happiness in the Pacific Islands: A Qualitative Study with University Staff in Fiji

Crookes, Annie E. and Warren, Meg A. (2022) Understanding Happiness in the Pacific Islands: A Qualitative Study with University Staff in Fiji. In: Happiness - Biopsychosocial and Anthropological Perspectives. IntechOpen, Rijeka. ISBN TBC

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The concept of happiness has been the subject of critical analysis throughout the Western philosophical thought. Current conceptualizations focus on the role of cultural traditions and consumerist societal values. However, there is increasing scientific evidence that happiness is a product of multiple factors, the specific pattern of which differs across cultures. Yet, the cross-cultural literature tends to condense this into a Western–individualist versus non-Western-collectivist happiness dichotomy. This overlooks the vast diversity in global collectivist societies and more research is needed from under-represented, indigenous populations. This study aims to provide a qualitative exploration of the definitions, experiences, and outcomes of happiness within a professional sample of Indigenous Pacific Fijian and Indian-Fijian ethnic groups. The data revealed eight inter-related themes that, together, suggest the experience of happiness in Fijians is a product of collectivist cultural and religious structures, individual goals and needs, and the practical environment (housing and land systems) of the Pacific Islands. This model of happiness both supports and extends existing literature from other non-Western populations. Importantly, the mix of indigenous, colonial, and environmental influences which seem to underlie the Fijian understanding of happiness support the call for contextualized analyses and socioecological approaches to happiness and well-being research.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.106771
Uncontrolled Keywords: happiness; well-being; qualitative; Pacific Islands; indigenous psychology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS)
Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca - Waqairagata
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2022 03:00
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 03:00

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