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Revista mexicana de sociología

On-line version ISSN 2594-0651Print version ISSN 0188-2503


BERICAT, Eduardo  and  ACOSTA, María Julia. The Latin American paradox of happiness. Theoretical and methodological considerations. Rev. Mex. Sociol [online]. 2021, vol.83, n.3, pp.709-743.  Epub Sep 13, 2021. ISSN 2594-0651.

This paper shows that the levels of self-reported happiness in Latin American countries are much higher than one should expect given their quality of life and societal quality. Analysis of the affective structure of happiness reveals four patterns that call into question the models that are used to measure it: asymmetrical emotionality, extreme positive responses, strength of self, and social relationships. These patterns suggest four hypotheses that might explain this paradox: the quality of social relations, propensity for contentment and joy, personal pride, and downward social comparison. Finally, it is held that a public debate on happiness in America Latina is needed.

Keywords : happiness; emotional well-being; Latin America; emotions; societal quality.

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