Professor Gerda Wielander, Professor of Chinese Studies and Associate Head (External Relations) of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was interviewed by the BBC World Service’s Weekend show on her recent book, which analyses the many different ways in which happiness is talked about in China today.

A wall with Chinese drawings and signs painted on it
‘Promoting a Happy China, Beijing May 2018’ – credits: Gerda Wielander

In the interview, Professor Wielander responds to questions about Chinese levels of happiness in relation to a number of economic factors. She indicated that low levels of happiness in China are correlated to unemployment rates and the restructuring of the social security system after 1990.

After commenting on evidence that the Chinese government is concerned about levels of happiness in the population and mentioning the example of discourses in Tibet, she concluded: “It depends who you ask, where people live, what ethnicity they belong to, and in what way and to what extent they feel they have benefitted from economic reforms in the last 40 years.”
 

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