Danubius International Conferences, 4th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

Success as a Cultural Value: A Comparison between the Notions of Success and Well-Being in Bulgaria and Hungary

Hristina Sokolova
Last modified: 2014-06-04


Objectives: The goal of this paper is to compare the notions of personal well-being and individual success in Bulgaria and Hungary. Such comparison has not been studied yet in social and cultural sciences. Prior Work: The analysis is based on the results from the 3rd, 4th and 5th Round of the European Social Survey, the 2011’s Eurobarometer Qualitative Survey on attitudes to well-being and a small survey on the notions of individual success conducted by the author of this paper in Bulgaria and Hungary in January 2012. Approach: The main research methods are surveys and focus groups. Results are analysed using the intercultural communication theoretical paradigm. Results: The results of the author’s research show that well-being should be considered part of the value systems in both countries because of its vital importance for personal development. Well-being is strongly associated with personal success more in Bulgaria than in Hungary, as Hungarian respondents “see” success as an abstract, idealistic endeavour. Therefore, success is part of the cultural value systems in both countries serving as the main concept frame that comprises of both aspects of personal well-being and acknowledgment of individual achievements. Implications: These results could be used for the basis of more detailed research on the concept of success not only in Bulgaria and Hungary but also on the whole European continent. Academics interested in societal and cultural values and business may benefit from researching it because detailed knowledge and understanding of main values in a society is crucial for international contacts and entrepreneurship. Value: This is the first scientific work investigating the general concept of success in intercultural communication. Results of this paper shed light on the most important motivating force of one’s existence and could be used as guidance for creating problem-solving practices in business and entrepreneurship, based on cultural values.