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Title: Happiness and Goans: The Cultural Construction of Happiness
Authors: DSouza, Jordella
Keywords: Centre for Human Ecology
Sujata Sriram
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: TISS
Abstract: This study endeavours to understand how happiness is conceptualised by Goan Catholic emerging adults, living in Mumbai. It examines how cultural heritage influences the meaning, experience and expressions of happiness. Social relationships, religious beliefs, community practices and cultural metaphors emerge as factors contributing to understanding happiness. The study adopted aqualitative approach. The data was obtained though in-depth interviews with eight Goan Catholic emerging adults, and analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis highlighted the various cultural processes through which conceptions of happiness were developed . The interplay of the respondents’Goan heritage and the multicultural ethos of Mumbai influenced happiness and wellbeing. Happiness for the respondents necessarily involved the ‘other’, with the meaning, expression and experience of happiness including family and friends. Religion ,family events and the Goan community contributed to the wellbeing of the individual. Food helped maintaina cultural identity, and enhanced subjective well -being. Hobbies contributed to well-being, and were influenced by Goan culture and family. Most of the respondents had close ties and contacts with Goa, and this helped reinforce the cultural identity. Regular visits to Goa helped in maintaining we ll being and happiness. The findings of the study have implications for further research on happiness and the antecedents of positive emotions.
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