Positive Materialsim: How Does Money Shape Family Happiness?
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Why do some families let money shape their happiness in a negative way while others control their money and shape their happiness in a positive way? Maslow (1943) described his first two levels in his Hierarchy of Needs as both materialistic and positive, that is support of life and safety, and yet materialism has a negative connotation in Western society. I conducted eight in-depth qualitative interviews with couples in the Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. Demographically they were very similar by age, number of children, duration of marriage, education, family income, and proximity to grandparents. Existing literature and statistics suggest that many families fall prey to excessive negative materialism, yet the results of this study suggest that these families use materialism positively to help shape their happiness. Therefore, I submit my Positive Materialism Theory - A person or group who uses materials or materialism to facilitate spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values and as a result increases their happiness quotient. If families understand that money can be positive, (that money buying happiness is not negative), maybe this awareness will help families realize that “money can buy happiness” and take steps to accomplish this.
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Trevor Leslie (2009). Positive Materialsim: How Does Money Shape Family Happiness?. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/10811