Pursuit of Happiness

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Pursuit of Happiness
H Hooker
March 3. 2012

Pursuit of Happiness
“Keeping up with the Jones’s”, (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009) is a popular saying in America today, and not far from the truth, concerning the mentality and opinions concerning happiness and well-being. The Declaration of Independence also states the pursuit of happiness is an alienable right (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009). Society today lends opportunities to fulfill anyone’s desires, or dreams, yet as individual’s we are concerned about what other’s think around us. This thought process is evident throughout the American culture today and in history (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009). The concepts of culture and happiness are being compared as individualistic and collectivist (I-C) which provides the basis for over all well-being and what it means to be happy. Research compared two cultures Americans to East Asians and found subjective wellbeing (SWB) to be low in Japan where income trends are high, when compared to Americans. This concept was considered void because the Asian cultures did not measure happiness to self or individuality. Therefore the studies had to be modified. Later reviews revealed that Americans are encouraged to identify and express their unique sense of self as a way to influence and distinguish themselves from others, whereas or in contrast Asians are encouraged to identify and express attributes that behoove the community as a whole to develop self-critical and self-discipline which enables fitting in with others. This concept allows for improvement or enhances decision making that improves the social norm (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009). Because happiness and feeling good about oneself is a part of the American culture, American Parents rear their children to think for themselves and pursue things that make a child happy or feel good about them; this perspective is consistent with subjective well - being (SWB), and that happiness is both...
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