Chinese and South Asian Conceptions of the Good Life and Personal Narratives

Gregory Bonn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Are cultural visions of a good life reflected in how people narrate the personal past? Do they tend to emphasize experiences that correspond to their cultural commitments about what is important and worthwhile in the life they are hoping to live? To examine this possibility, Chinese and South Asian international students at a Canadian university were compared on the content of their narrative accounts of their post-arrival experiences. Predictions about how these groups differ in the prevalence of various topical categories were made on the basis of previous research on cultural conceptions of a good life. A majority of the predictions were confirmed, supporting the general claim that Chinese tend more toward practical and prudential concerns, and less toward spiritual and beneficent concerns, than do South Asians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-755
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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