London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Patterns of subjective well-being: From self-victimizing to social contribution

Author(s) Selymes, O.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
The study investigated the psychological reasons behind low/high levels of civil and personal satisfaction, subjective social well-being, civil comfort and positive social contribution. Grounded Theory was used as general methodology. Data collection included in depth interviews in Hungary (n=30), direct observations and theoretical coding of live and culture-specific texts. The basic social process uncovered in the research is self-differentiating, which is an implicit process to socially situate and frame the self and the other in a given social/societal situation that guides social perception, cognition and action. The most salient outcome of self-differentiating in the Hungarian sample is self-victimizing, which involves three further basic social psychological processes (self-inactivating, questioning and self-isolating) and contributes to certain socio-cultural phenomenon such as distrust, bystanderism, pessimism or anomie. Other modes of social contribution may modify the social consequences of self-victimizing, such as: achieving, celebrating, protesting, withdrawing, complaining, defying. Based on the discoveries, the concept of SSWB (subjective social well-being) is introduced and an expanded three-dimensional model of civil satisfaction, comfort and contribution along with psychological and cultural implications are discussed.

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