1- what were two significant reasons birthday parties for children began to be common by the mid-19th century, whereas they had been rare before. In other words, what changes helped cause this change?

2- What is “instrumentalism” at work, and what does it suggest about happiness at work?


  1. By the mid-19th century, two significant changes contributed to the increasing commonality of birthday parties for children:

    a. Industrialization and Urbanization: The rise of industrialization and urbanization led to significant societal shifts, including changes in family structure and social dynamics. With more families moving to urban centers and a growing middle class emerging, there was increased disposable income and leisure time. This allowed parents to allocate resources towards celebrating milestones like birthdays for their children, fostering a sense of community and social cohesion.

    b. Cultural Influences: Alongside industrialization, cultural shifts also played a role in popularizing birthday celebrations. As societal norms evolved, there was a growing emphasis on childhood and family life. Celebrating birthdays became a way for parents to express love and affection for their children, reinforcing familial bonds and creating lasting memories. Additionally, the spread of birthday traditions from other cultures, such as the German tradition of Kinderfeste, also contributed to the normalization of birthday parties in Western societies.

  2. “Instrumentalism” at work refers to the view that individuals primarily perceive their work as a means to achieve certain outcomes or goals, rather than deriving intrinsic satisfaction or fulfillment from the work itself. In other words, instrumentalism suggests that people see their jobs as a means to an end, whether it be financial security, social status, or personal fulfillment outside of work.

Regarding happiness at work, instrumentalism implies that individuals may not necessarily find happiness in the tasks they perform or the work environment itself. Instead, their happiness is contingent upon the outcomes or rewards they derive from their work, such as financial compensation, recognition, or career advancement. This perspective suggests that while external rewards can contribute to a sense of well-being, true happiness at work may be limited if individuals do not find intrinsic satisfaction in their tasks or feel disconnected from the purpose of their work. Thus, fostering a sense of intrinsic motivation and alignment between personal values and organizational goals is essential for promoting genuine happiness and fulfillment in the workplace.

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