This paper examines, through a quantitative and qualitative study, how individuals, particularly young Danes, achieve happiness in late modern society. In this project we have sought to elucidate which factors have a notably great influence on an individual's achievement of happiness, and how the late modern society conceivably influences the individual's personal experience of happiness. In late modern society we see an increasing tendency to seek self-help primarily focusing on happiness and personal growth. Concurrently we see a higher number of stress-affected, anxious and depressed Danes. Our motivation for the project emerged from what resembles a contemporary paradox - whether in this quest for happiness one inevitably encounters unhappiness? In order to deduce how individuals strives for happiness, as well as, unveiling which factors are distinguished throughout this aspiration, this project establishes its methodological frame of reference from critical theory and social constructionism. Subsequently, we pursue to create a multifaceted understanding of the concept happiness. With inspiration from critical theory, we benefit from Hartmut Rosa's theory of the accelerating society (2014), to fathom the dilemmas one meets in the quest for "the full life", as what we also consider the pursuit of happiness. With inspiration from social constructionism, we apply positive psychological theories on subjective well-being (Myers 2000; Abbey & Andrews 1984; Diener, 2000; Kahneman & Deaton 2010) and Csikszentmihalyi's flow theory (1989) to illustrate how individuals can achieve happiness in day to day life. Through the projects quantitative and qualitative method, in the form of an online survey and two semi-structured interviews, the reader gains access to the individuals world of existence in which they word their conception of happiness. Throughout an abductive methodical approach, hereby alternating between the projects theoretical frame of reference and the projects empirical data, a thematic analysis was developed. In the analysis, we aim to depict all contributing factors of how individuals achieve happiness in late moderns society. It is concluded, through the analysis and discussion, that from a critical theoretical perspective, we can enclosure that happiness in the form of "the full life" is unattainable, and that individuals thus strive for something elusive, as the opportunities in the accelerating society always exceed what can be realized in the individual's life. Furthermore, our analysis indicates that from a positive psychological perspective happiness is achievable through social relations, economy and an optimal state of flow. Finally, due to this paper’s two sources of methodological inspiration, one common view on happiness cannot be summarized. However, we aspire to contribute with new perspectives to this field of science. Thus, the question of whether happiness is achievable, and if so, how, is up to the individual it self, depending on one's worldview and ontological perspective.
|Uddannelser||Psykologi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor|
|Udgivelsesdato||21 maj 2019|