News Story

On Campus: Exploring Happiness in China

“Blessed Happiness (Fu): Visions of a Good Life in Urban China”

“Blessed Happiness (Fu): Visions of a Good Life in Urban China”

January 20, 2016—From January 21–22, 2016 Georgetown will host the symposium “Blessed Happiness (Fu): Visions of a Good Life in Urban China,” where researchers will present findings from a three-year project that investigates how people in China today define happiness.

Funded by a $1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the project’s research team includes Georgetown College’s Becky Yang Hsu, assistant professor of sociology.

Questions central to the project include: How do Chinese people today define a good life? What are they doing to have a good life? How is this visible in the everyday activities people do, like eating with others, weddings and marriage, religion and prayer, work and labor activism, civic engagement, social work, and funerals? How does this impact how we understand happiness generally? What are the implications for research and policy?

The symposium will include two panels of scholars from the research team, as well as several commentators—both public intellectuals and writers. A group of survey researchers will also convene to discuss the implications of the project’s ethnographic work on cross-national surveys of happiness. (This meeting is closed to the public, but a report on it will be made available online afterwards.)