Theoretical propositions and the voice of reality: Testing current assumptions of well-being in Ghana and South Africa
Dr Angelina Wilson (Human Sciences Research Council, Education and Skills Development Programme, Cape Town office) and Dr Steven Gordon (Human Sciences Research Council, Democracy and Service Delivery, Durban office)
Dr Candice Groenewald (Human Sciences Research Council, Human Social Development, Durban office)
Date: 27 August 2019
Time: 12:30 - 14:00
Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (Videoconferencing facilities: see below)
Well-being has generally been conceptualised from the perspective of functioning well (eudaimonia) and feeling good (hedonia) based on western theoretical, philosophical and epistemological stances. However, past and current research on well-being from the different African contexts have raised concerns with such restricted proposition on the varied and widely experienced construct of well-being. Using evidence from two African contexts, we unpack experiences of well-being using both qualitative and quantitative methods among a sample employed adults. We demonstrate how values systems, contexts and historical placements determine what different Ghanaian and South African groups regard as well-being. Central to the notions of well-being is the complex interaction between availability of material resources, functioning well and feeling good. Implications for health and well-being policies in sub-Saharan Africa are discussed.
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