Re-post member blog, originally published on isqols.org in 2016
The Beauty of Cultural Diversity
by Tithi Bhatnagar
Research in the area of quality-of-life, especially Subjective Well-Being asserts that culture is a very critical context that determines happiness, subjective well-being, quality-of-life, and life satisfaction of individuals. It is so much ingrained into our beings that we are not able to appreciate it unless we are separated from it. Leading a regular, a uniform life makes living monotonous and sad. It is like breathing and not living. Cultural diversity adds the flavor to life, the zeal to live, and an adventure to explore. How wonderful to say the same thing in different accents, and then try to identify the part of earth the individual comes from; the different symbolic meaning of similar actions; the same word and varied cultural connotations attached to it; and the list goes on and on.
Imagine all of us living within the same architecture, wearing the same dresses and speaking the same language! Run your imagination and you get an error message - life suddenly becomes black and white. If we were to go back to the way we were raised - imagine the various local celebrations, festivals, and special food of special occasions, community traditions - suddenly our vision becomes all so colorful. I always believe and research supports that the best way to pass traditions and values to children is through sharing folktales. They learn much faster and retain the concepts in their long-term memory in this way. The icing on the cake is ‘learning becomes fun’. It is true that we are all one as human beings. However, along with individual differences, it is these cultural variations that make life beautiful and meaningful. These different hues add the necessary brightness and purpose that motivates the will in individuals to lead a good life.
The fast pace of life today makes it very challenging to meet daily chores. What is important to maintain our levels of well being perhaps is creating as many experiences as possible. To laugh as much as we can, to create memories, cherish them later, meet as many people with diverse background and learn from each other’s culture, to never miss a travel opportunity. We grow when we appreciate diversity and understand the common thread that binds us all one as humans.
Last years’ annual ISQOLS conference at Seoul is a wonderful example of my experience of beauty in cultural diversity. What was remarkable was that we were all one and yet so different. This observation was very much in line with the trail of my thoughts that originated when I got down at the Incheon International Airport. The airport, the Bus Shuttle Gates, all were so similar to what we have in big cities back home. When I was on the bus, the buildings that I saw and the kind of roads, all reminded me of Gurgaon (the current city of my residence). I was happy and appreciated Globalization. With this, it is easy to move to new and unknown places. Everything looks so familiar and similar. A visit to the city of Seoul was what brought a beautiful insight. Be it the Palace, the traditionally attired young girls who looked like dolls at the Palace gate, or the market, or the stupendous colorful Namsan Tower, all very clearly pointed out the beauty of cultural diversity. There was warmth of the South Korean culture in particular, and that of Asia in general. Every place speaks about its history, heritage, traditions, and teaches us something. The experience is what keeps us going. It helps to stay connected to our roots. This creates a powerful reservoir of positive emotions and keeps us going when we feel low. We should keep being happy to move on the path of exploring this journey further and in-depth.
COVID-19 has killed more than 2.5 million people, devastated the world economy, and wreaked havoc on mental health globally. The challenges for psychologists are: How can we help people stay positive and become better and stronger? and How can we make the world a safer, kinder, and fairer place for all people?
We invite you to the 11th biennial International Meaning Conference, where you will learn from leading researchers, practitioners, and educators on how to rise to such challenges, transcend pandemic fatigue, and live a meaningful life. The International Meaning Conferences continue to be the only world congress on existential positive psychology, embracing disciplines ranging from psychology, philosophy, and religion, to management, education, and medicine.
Come and learn the new science of flourishing through suffering. More specifically, you will learn: How to find healing and hope in tragic times and how to transform vulnerabilities to resilience.
Given travel restrictions, we are pleased to offer the conference virtually and reach more people globally. Mark August 5–8, 2021, on your calendars so that you do not miss this unique event.
Confirmed keynote speakers thus far include Christina J. Becker, Louis Hoffman, Todd Kashdan, Tim Lomas, Farooq Naeem, Darcia Narvaez, Robert Niemeyer, and Tayyab Rashid.
We have chosen the conference theme, because at a time when our vulnerability is laid bare by the external threats and our collective existential crisis, we embrace it as an opportunity to explore and discover new pathways to resilience and wellbeing in trying times. Subthemes of the conference include the following:
This is only a subset of the expanding domain of existential positive psychology (PP 2.0). All submissions are welcome in any areas related to the adaptive benefits of what is typically considered as detrimental to wellbeing.
Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., C.Psych. (www.drpaulwong.com)
President, International Network on Personal Meaning
President, Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute Inc.
World Happiness Report 2021!
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Programme – IEEE E-TEMS
Huge congrats to our #ISQOLSmembers, Talita Greyling & Stephanie Rossouw on the publication of their article in #PLOSONE: "The good, the bad and the ugly of lockdowns during Covid-19". #COVID19research #lockdowns
Download the article for FREE at:
The good, the bad and the ugly of lockdowns during Covid-19 (plos.org)
Announcing “Family Well-Being” section in Applied Research in Quality of Life (ARQOL)
As family well-being is closely related to quality of life, we are launching a section on “Family well-Being” in Applied Research in Quality of Life. Effective January 2021 the journal welcomes submissions on family well-being which are consistent with the aims and scope of ARQOL (https://www.springer.com/journal/11482). Please submit your article via the online submission and peer review system editorial manager today!
Journal of Happiness Studieshttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-020-00335-41 3RESEARCH PAPER
Modern Economic Growth, Culture, andSubjective Well‑Being: Evidence fromArctic Alaska
FengyuWu1,2 Accepted: 18 November 2020 © Springer Nature B.V. 2020
The life satisfaction of the indigenous population in Arctic Alaska is quite high, perhaps higher than that of the U.S. population in general. Is wage employment brought by modern economic growth responsible for their high life satisfaction? Probably not. Interestingly, we find that household wage income and job opportunities per working-age Native are neg-atively associated with their life satisfaction. In contrast, non-wage income, which does not involve the sacrifice of time that can be used for subsistence activities, is positively associated with life satisfaction. A household’s involvement in these traditional activities is found to be positively associated with life satisfaction as well. The findings challenge the common preconception about the effects of modernization and point to the importance of the non-wage subsistence activities as a preferred substitute for wage employment to this indigenous population. A combination of Christian religious beliefs and indigenous spir-itual beliefs is also positively associated with their life satisfaction.Keywords Subjective well-being· Life satisfaction· Economic growth· Subsistence activities· Culture· Indigenous populationJ
Modern Economic Growth, Culture, and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Arctic Alaska (springer.com)
Tracey Platt, University of Sunderland, UK
Sonja Heintz, University of Plymouth, UK
Research illuminates the nuanced roles of humour, laughter, playfulness and entertainment in wellbeing and health. Humour has a distinct physiological response, can be considered a character strength, a means of coping and emotional regulation, and has subtle variations in expression and outcomes across cultures and contexts, for both the individual and their social groups. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent upheaval of social systems and mass home isolation, there has been a surge in entertainment media consumption, including in new media such as memes.
International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology is calling for manuscripts that share new knowledge on humour, laughter, playfulness and entertainment as it relates to well-being, quality of life, coping, and health. Studies of humour in relation to COVID-19 will be given priority, including the role of media consumption. The Special Issue welcomes empirical contributions, short reports, (theoretical) position papers, as well as reviews on these and other related topics from psychology and interdisciplinary collaborations.
The review process will be similar to regular journal submissions where final decisions are based on peer review. Papers can be submitted via the online submisson portal, selecting the Special Issue SI - Humour, playfulness and entertainment in wellbeing, following the Submission Guidelines
January 31, 2021: Manuscript submission deadline
April 30, 2021: Final notifications to authors
September 2021: Expected publication date of the full special issue (after publication process, your article will be published Online First)
About the Guest Editors
Dr Tracey Platt is Principle Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Sunderland (UK). Her research focuses on humour, gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at), laughter, and emotions.
Dr Sonja Heintz is Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Plymouth (UK). Her main research interests are individual differences in humour and positive traits and psychometrics. She has published more than 30 articles and book chapters on the topics of humour and comic styles, the sense of humour, humour appreciation, wellbeing, and character strengths.
International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology | Call for papers! special issue: humour, playfulness and entertainment in wellbeing. (springer.com)
Organized by The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (STATEC) and the Ministry of the Economy, Luxembourg
This international conference will bring together leading scholars to discuss the quest for better lives. Economists traditionally advocated economic growth as the foremost policy goal, but now even economists often challenge this view. The discussion remains open, indeed flourishes, with more contributors than ever. How do we promote well-being? What are the best policies? What is the role for civil society? How can the happiness literature help facing the environmental, social and economic challenges ahead?
The conference will take place over three days from 28 – 30 of June 2021. We will host four keynote speakers and a roundtable discussing how policy-makers can integrate the findings from well-being studies.
This is an interdisciplinary conference welcoming contributions from every field of social sciences, such as economics, sociology, psychology, and political sciences. We especially welcome papers on the following topics:
· Correlates and consequences of well-being and ill-being (e.g. personality, wealth, productivity, immigration, occupation, health);
· Well-being over time;
· Well-being inequality;
· Inequality, social capital, and inclusive growth;
· Well-being and the changing environment;
· Public or private interventions for well-being and their evaluations;
· Future directions in well-being research;
· Well-being and ill-being metrics (e.g. single indicators vs. dashboards; micro vs. macro);
· The impact of Covid-19 on well-being and its correlates;
· Big data and well-being.
On Tuesday morning the conference will host a round table on “Policy meets research” where representatives of institutions will discuss advantages, disadvantages and limitations of the well-being approach in policy making.
The deadline for application is the 15 January 2021. We will notify the authors of accepted papers by the end of March 2021.
For more information, please, visit our conference web-site (www.wellbeing2021.lu) or send an e-mail to: infoSWB2020@statec.etat.lu
We look forward to welcoming you in Luxembourg,
The scientific committee:
Serge Allegrezza, STATEC
Martijn Burger, Erasmus University of Rotterdam
Conchita d’Ambrosio, University of Luxembourg
Johannes Hirata, Osnabruck University
Kelsey O’Connor, STATEC
Chiara Peroni, STATEC
Maurizio Pugno, University of Cassino
Stephanie Rossouw, Auckland University of Technology
Francesco Sarracino, STATEC
We are excited to share with you that we have an invitation to tender for a brilliant researcher - or research team - for a new project: Understanding and modelling the relationship between individual and place-based community wellbeing, jointly commissioned by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Centre for Ageing Better and Spirit of 2012.
The research will focus on:
Please help us find the right researcher(s).
The link to the tender is here: https://whatworkswellbeing.org/about-us/work-for-us/
Please send your proposal with the subject line Submission for tender Community and Individual Wellbeing to: email@example.com no later than 5pm 6 November.
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The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS)
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Gilbert, AZ 85299