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Happiness and Propaganda: Does the "Chinese Dream" Make People Happy?

Föreläsning, Seminarium

Gästföreläsning inom Bernhard Karlgren-seminariet, forskningsområdet Språk, litteratur och kulturaliet vid institutionen för språk och litteraturer. Alla intresserade är välkomna!

Professor Gerda Wielander från Westminster University i London talar utifrån sin nyligen utkomna bok "Chinese Discourses on Happiness" (HKU Press 2018):


In 2016 China ranked among the top 20 countries where happiness scores have improved significantly between 2005 and 2015, more than would be expected on the basis of economic factors alone. This paper investigates the link between self-reported levels of happiness and political education, taking China's happiness propaganda/education campaign as example. Essentially the paper asks,"Is it conceivable that the "Chinese dream" campaign makes people happier?"

Building on the analysis of a wide variety of text based sources, as well as the findings from a forthcoming multi-disciplinary volume on "Chinese Discourses on Happiness" (edited by the author), the paper shows that while there is clear direction from the party-state about preferable happiness maximization strategies, there also exists a considerable degree of engagement with and elaboration on the philosophies, practices and idealistic imaginings put forward in the context of China's happiness education campaign. We find a proliferation of discourses of happiness in this campaign, which encompass both motifs of individual self-interest and collective socialist ethics. Happiness seems to have emerged as a culturally and historically specific therapeutic tool for the governance of China's population that operates across class divisions. Happiness resonates, and the various efforts to achieve happiness are testimony to on-going attempts by the Chinese people to negotiate a distinctly Chinese approach to the modern vicissitudes of life, incorporating Chinese cultural sensibilities and negotiating the many tensions present in "post-socialist" China.

Föreläsare: Professor Gerda Wielander, Westminster University

Datum: 2019-02-27

Tid: 15:15 - 17:00

Kategorier: Språk, Humaniora, Forskning

Arrangör: institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Plats: Humanisten, Lundgrensgatan 1B, E208

Kontaktperson: Fredrik Fällman

Sidansvarig: |Sidan uppdaterades: 2018-10-03
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