Subjective well-being in a remote culture: The Himba

Martin, William Robert and Cooper, Andrew. 2017. Subjective well-being in a remote culture: The Himba. Personality and Individual Differences, 115, pp. 19-22. ISSN 0191-8869 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Existing studies of cultural differences in subjective well-being (SWB) have tended to focus on more Westernised and industrialised cultural groups, and have paid less attention to heterogeneity within cultural groups that share the same national boundary, but differ in level of urbanisation. This study considers differences in life satisfaction within the Himba of Namibia. The research looks across three groups; semi-nomadic and non-literate Himba, living their traditional lives in remote Namibian villages; Himba that have chosen to move to the local town; and, a sample of UK adults. Participants were administered the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larson, & Griffin, 1985). Results showed that the Rural Himba group had significantly higher levels of life satisfaction compared to the Urban Himba, and both Himba groups had significantly higher life satisfaction scores than a sample of UK adults matched for age and gender with the Himba. The results run contrary to the findings of other studies where more wealthy cultures tended to have higher SWB than less wealthy cultures.

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Subjective well-being; Satisfaction with life; Himba; Namibia; Urbanisation

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14 October 2016Accepted
22 October 2016Published Online
1 September 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

25 May 2017 16:16

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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