Ritið 2/16

Ritið 2/16 - 2016

Markus Meckl and Stéphanie BarilléHappiness and well-being within the immigrant population of Akureyri

This article discusses the experiences and perceptions of happiness and well-being of the immigrant population of Akureyri. Based on anthropological and discourse analysis methods, the study aims for an understanding of the reasons behind the high satisfaction of immigrants living in this northern town. The article successively examines three main reasons given by immigrants to explain their happiness: the physical and natural environment leading to social peace, a perceived range of personal and financial possibilities facilitating feelings of achievement, and a relative mutual understanding of icelandic social conditions that perpetuate a sense of equality. The authors argue that in this context, happiness and level of integration are strongly related; the findings indicated that integration was most successful in immigrants with strong social capital and that individuals often resorted to individual acculturative strategies to integrate, as the role of the local community seemed effective to integrate newcomers on a theoretical and emotional level but somewhat ineffective on a practical level.

Keywords: Happiness, immigration, well-being, integration, satisfaction

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