Presentation on theme: "Happier together: Social cohesion and subjective well-being Jan Delhey Jacobs University Bremen Bertelsmann Cohesion Radar project www.social-cohesion.net."— Presentation transcript:
Happier together: Social cohesion and subjective well-being Jan Delhey Jacobs University Bremen Bertelsmann Cohesion Radar project www.social-cohesion.net
GLADS Good Lives and Decent Societies individual well-being societal well-being (“quality of life”)(“quality of society”) e.g. social cohesion
Concerns about cohesion: cohesion refers to a specific aspect of a society’s collective quality of life : the solidarity exhibited by the people of that society. In other words, cohesion describes the sense of community and the degree of brotherhood that exist. Collective property, not an individual. Social cohesion is believed to be challenged: growing ethno-cultural diversity; a widening gap between rich and poor; technological changes; welfare state retrenchments; Euro-crisis.... A gap in the social reporting landscape (Legatum Prosperity Index 8 dimensions, social capital; Index of Social Progress 10 dimensions, social chaos)
Scope of the study 34 countries over 20 years (collapsed into four time periods)
Our concept of social cohesion Overlap with other studies, e.g. Chan (2006)
Data sources: Survey data, expert ratings and process data
Determinants of social cohesion National income (GDP p.c.) Knowledge economy Income inequality (Unemployment rate) Importance of religion Postmaterialist value climate What’s not influencing cohesion: Ethnic fractionalization; migration (excpetion: migration from Eastern European) Masculine/feminine culture (Hofstede)
The effect on SWB Normative perspective vs. happiness perspective The more – the better ? Or mixed blessing (cf. dark sides of social cohesion) Equally important for rich and poor societies ? Equally important for more/less vulnerable groups ?
Which components of SWB are enhanced by cohesion? EU countries only; EQLS
Cohesion more important in rich countries EU countries only; EQLS
Cohesion is good for all: less vs. more vulnerable groups EU countries only; EQLS
In summary Social cohesion is focusing on one important aspect of a “decent society”. Social cohesion mainly depends on economic conditions, equality, and the value climate. Citizens have higher SWB in more cohesive societies (Western Europe in particular). Cohesion is good for all. More important than GDP (GDP works through cohesion). We are happier together!