Sources of Happiness: A Mixed Methods Phenomenological Study of Factors Affecting Residents’ Subjective Wellbeing in Shenzhen, China
Maintaining cultural sensitivity has been a challenge in subjective wellbeing (SWB) research involving nonwestern populations, which continues to primarily use a quantitative approach and Western-originating measurements. Accounting for culturally specific characteristics of the study area and sample, we employed a concurrent mixed-methods phenomenological approach to uncover factors contributing to urban Chinese residents’ SWB in the context of their daily lives. Data from 65 semi-structured interviews in Shenzhen, China revealed five meta-themes, including harmony in interpersonal relationships, financial wellbeing and homeownership, health, physical and social environment, and intentional activities and mentality. Residents’ background contextual information was cross-referenced with the meta-themes to enrich data interpretation, unveiling the profound imprint of age and life stages, the broad-scale structural inequities associated with China’s household registration system, and the firm grip of traditional family core values and folk wisdom in the form of a transcendental mindset of inner peace and dignity. The results provide a contextualized understanding of the primary sources of SWB relevant to today’s urban Chinese residents, and offer valuable insight about the social-cultural complexities involved in “ordinary” Chinese residents’ pursuit of happiness that is co-shaped by individual effort, deep-rooted traditional values, and consequential social infrastructure and policies amidst the country’s deepening, transformative urbanization.
|Sources of Happiness: A Mixed Methods Phenomenological Study of Factors Affecting Residents’ Subjective Wellbeing in Shenzhen, China
|In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
|November 17, 2020
|Publisher Identifier (DOI)
|July 21, 2022
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