chapter  15
15 Pages

Markers of well-being among the Hijras: the male to female transexuals

Subjective well-being (SWB) is defi ned as people’s evaluations of their own lives. Such evaluations can be both cognitive judgments, such as life satisfaction, and emotional responses to events, such as feeling positive emotions. Subjective well-being is thus an umbrella term that refers to several separable components: life satisfaction and satisfaction with life domains such as marriage, work, income, housing, and leisure; feeling positive affect (pleasant emotions and moods) most of the time; experiencing infrequent feelings of negative affect (such as depression, stress, and anger); and judging one’s life to be fulfi lling and meaningful. (Diener and Biswas-Diener 2003 )

Among those perspectives the hedonic approach focuses on happiness and defi nes well-being as the avoidance of pain and the achieving of pleasure. The second is the eudemonic approach which emphasises meaning and self-realisation. Hence, well-being is the degree to which a person can be optimally functioning. Subjective well-being consists of two components. One is ‘life satisfaction’, which could be described as a cognitive evaluation of one’s overall life, and the second is ‘emotions’, which essentially considers the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative emotions (Diener and Rahtz 2000 ). Thus in research studies sometimes happiness too has been operationally defi ned as subjective well-being (Kim and Hatfi eld 2004 ).