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Chinese Discourses on Happiness$
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Gerda Wielander and Derek Hird

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455720

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455720.001.0001

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Chinese Happiness, a Shared Discursive Terrain

(p.1) Introduction
Chinese Discourses on Happiness

Gerda Wielander

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the most important works in happiness studies today as well as an analysis of the available happiness data on China since 1990, charting the main development and their underlying social and economic causes. It links the rise of reported happiness since 2005 in China to the government’s stepped up ideological efforts, notably through the Chinese Dream campaign and its associated happiness education campaign. This chapter also provides an analysis of the main themes emerging in the book, which include propaganda and political discourse, suzhi, and the appearance of Ah Q as important cultural archetype. Finally, the Introduction also provides a short summary of each chapter, and in its conclusion argues that despite the multiplicity of influences which shape the various discourses, we can find broadly shared agreement about values and aspirations in relation to happiness across a wide spectrum of society.

Keywords:   Chinese Dream, Happiness Data, Han Chinese, Chinese Family, Happiness and GDP, Neoliberalism

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