Hamer 1/2011

Sociologie Românească (Romanian Sociology), Vol. IX, no. 1/2011.




Social Identifications with Big Groups and Communities and Subjective Well-being in Poland

Katarzyna Hamer

Vol IX, no. 1, 2011, pp. 88-109


Author adress: Institute of Psychology, Chodkowska University of Management and Law, Al. Jerozolimskie 200, 02-486 Warsaw, Poland.
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Abstract: Socialties are known to have strong influence on well-being, but in the studies in this scientific context they are usually operationalized as close relationships. The author wanted to check if social identifications with very big groups and communities e.g. citizens of a province, a nation, citizens of Europe or a religious group, are also linked to happiness and life satisfaction. On the basis of big opinion polls from years 1995–2005 (Polish General Social Surveys) and another opinion poll from 2009, the connection between wide social identifications and subjective well-being was probed. Analyses confirmed the hypothesis that social  identifications with big groups or communities are connected to subjective well-being, both in  an emotional aspect, like happiness or a positive affect, as well as in a cognitive one, like satisfaction in different domains of life. The results of the first study indicate that subjects identifying themselves on low level with Poland, Europe, region, and non-believers were the least  satisfied in different domains. Also people highly identifying themselves with Poland and  Europe had stronger feeling of happiness than people with weaker identifications. The results  from the second study indicate that stronger social identifications (local, national, European  and religious) were connected with more positive affect. Also, all of them except EU identification were connected with stronger domain satisfactions. The results are discussed in relationships with the Terror Management Theory, with support potentially acquired from social  identifications and with specificity of religion prescriptions on desirable emotions.

Keywords: social identifications, subjective well-being, Terror Management Theory, religion, nation, European Union.

Cuvinte-cheie: identificări sociale, bunăstare subiectivă, teoria managementului terorii, religie, naţiune, Uniunea Europeană