Can social capital buffer against feelings of marginalisation and its impact on subjective wellbeing? Empirical evidence from the 2003 Quality of Life.
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Presentation on theme: "Can social capital buffer against feelings of marginalisation and its impact on subjective wellbeing? Empirical evidence from the 2003 Quality of Life."— Presentation transcript:
1 Can social capital buffer against feelings of marginalisation and its impact on subjective wellbeing?Empirical evidence from the 2003 Quality of Life in South East Queensland SurveyThe following are presentation overheads with annotated notes. Although, there was no formal paper prepared for this conference, interested readers are referred to a paper written after the conference and recently submitted to International Review of Sociology. The paper was based on this presentation (but with a slightly different analysis) and was called Quality of Life and Social Inclusion by John Western, Rod McCrea and Robert Stimson.NB. Please view via ‘Notes page’. You can then progress through the document using your mouse wheel, Page Down key, or the double-headed arrow to the right of this frame.
2 Marginalisation in normal populations Marginalisation: not feeling part of society‘Special’ populations often do not feel part of society and may be discriminated against in societye.g. Aborigines, ethnic groups, mentally ill, homeless and disabled.Those in the ‘normal’ population generally feel part of society but some feel more part of society than othersThis study focuses on marginalisation in the normal population. As such, it does not examine extremely marginalised ‘special’ populations, but examines the general population in the context of a globalising forces which can lead to feelings of marginalisation.
3 Societal context for marginalisation in normal populations Globalisation: rapid erosion of national boundaries on economic, political and cultural dimensionsDe-industrialisation and post-modernisation of economies and societiesMore professionals and unskilled services workersFewer blue collar workersSome are more valued in society and will more feel part of a changing societyQuality of life, marginalisation and social capital have all been employed in an attempt to capture some aspects of the globalising landscape of contemporary society. Quality of life changes with globalisation in western economies as rapid urbanisation and the emergence of post-industrial economies lead to a growing number of well to do professionals and managers, but also a growing number of supporting unskilled services workers, and fewer opportunities for blue collar workers. Marginalisation is seen as arising from changing social structures and norms associated with these globalising forces, which erode economic, political and cultural boundaries. Loss of social capital is associated with globalisation as rapid societal changes and population growth disrupt social norms and networks. Thus quality of life, marginalisation and social capital are all integrally related to each other in the context of globalisation.
4 Occupational prestige Definition: the prestige accorded by others to various occupations. It is a single dimensional indicator of socio-economic advantageIn society, some occupations are valued more in society and accorded higher prestigeOccupational prestige may impact on how much a person feels part of societyIt is envisaged that people will feel less part of society (or more marginalised) if they are less valued in society in terms of their occupational prestige.
5 Social capitalRelates to societal norms and networks which promote collective action for mutual benefit.At the individual level, it involves trust, reciprocity and agencySocial capital is often conceptualised at a community level rather than the societal levelHowever, social capital may help people feel part of societyThere is general consensus that social capital relates to social norms and networks. Woolcock (1998) sees social capital as encompassing norms and networks which facilitate collective action for mutual benefit. Coleman (1988) also says that social capital is embodied in social networks and the levels of trust that characterise these relationships. Putnam, 2000 agrees that social capital refers to connections between people and identifies norms of reciprocity and trust that arise from these connections.Social capital may reduce marginalisation. Using societal norms and networks for mutual benefit may result in feeling more connected with society from interacting with others.
6 HypothesesThose of low occupational prestige will feel more marginalised from society (H1)Those with low social capital will feel more marginalised from society (H2)Social capital will buffer against low occupational status. That is, effect of low occupational status on marginalisation will be less for those high in social capital (H3)Globalising forces result in an accelerated rate of social change, which predisposed the development of anomic structures and subsequently impact on quality of life (Western and Lanyon, 1999). However, not all people in the general population will be negatively affected by these post-modernising forces. In fact, some will be very much a part of new directions society is taking. This study hypothesises that that people will feel less part of society (or more marginalised) if they are less valued in society in terms of their occupational prestige. Similarly, people will vary in their levels of social capital, conceptualised as trust and reciprocity with others in society. It is hypothesised that those with higher social capital will feel less marginalised from society, and it may even be that high social capital nullifies the relationship between occupational prestige and marginalisation (i.e., it acts as a “social capital buffer”).
7 Hypotheses cont’dFeeling marginalised from society will reduce subjective well-being such that:life satisfaction will be lower (H4)positive affect will be lower (H5)negative affect will be higher (H6)Marginalisation is hypothesised to reduce quality of life, which is conceptualised as subjective well-being. Subjective well-being has three separate dimensions: life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect (Diener, 1999) and the relationship between marginalisation and each of these dimensions is tested.
8 The sampleResidents aged 18 years and over in South East Queensland (SEQ)1,610 respondents to 2003 QOL survey30 percent response rateComputer Assisted Telephone InterviewingN=780 in the analysis because not all respondents received questions on negative and positive affectGenerally representative samplethough more socio-economically advantaged than the SEQ populationThe data were collected in a Quality of Life survey carried out in They replicated to some extent earlier work carried out in the same region and reported in Western and Lanyon (1999). The sample consisted of residents aged 18 years and over living in the South-east Queensland the region. The survey used computer assisted interviewing to choose a sample of 1610 respondents. In this paper only 781 of these respondents provide the data because not all members of the sample received questions asking about negative and positive affect.
9 Comparison: population and sample 2003QOL2001CensusMedian age of those aged 18 and over4643Percentage female of those aged 18 and over4951Percentage married or in a defacto relationship6056Percentage divorced, separated or widowed18Percentage born in Australia7773Percentage Indigenous1.41.5Percentage with post-school qualifications78Percentage with a bachelors degree or higher qualification2514Median income of those aged 20 and over26,00023,700Median household income57,20043,700Percentage employed of those aged 18 and over6559Percentage of total persons aged 18 and over who are employed full-time37Percentage of dwellings that are separate houses8475Percentage of dwellings that are townhouses, units, flats or semi-detached housing1522Percentage of employed persons working from home95Percentage of employed persons travelling to work who used a train8283The socio-economic and demographic characteristics of participants in the survey closely matched those in SEQ as at the 2001 population census on age, sex, marital status, ethnicity and full-time employment, though survey participants were likely to have higher household income, higher level of education on averge, and were more likely to be employed and living in a separate house.
10 SEQ region and sampleThis figure shows the spatial distribution of the sample. The sample was concentrated in the urban areas of Greater Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, with some residents scattered throughout the surrounding rural hinterland areas.The study region of south-east Queensland is a rapidly growing and changing region with a post-industrial economy. The region comprises 20 Local Government Areas and has a population of around two million persons. It is the fastest growing area in Australia and contains six of the ten most rapidly developing municipalities in the country. Population projections for the next 30 years anticipate a doubling of the region’s population. This is a very rapid rate of growth, and the area is one of the ten fastest growing urban regions in the developed world. The region has a post-industrial service based economy and includes the seat of the state government, main offices of corporations and other organisations, various educational and research institutions, and the popular tourist and retirement Meccas of the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. By comparison, the region’s agricultural and industrial sectors are in relative decline. In sum, the region is very much subject to the post-modernising forces of globalisation, urbanisation and mass migration.
11 Measures Occupational prestige ANU3_2: This scale provides a prestige score for each of digit codes in the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO)Job descriptions from QOL survey were coded to 4-digit ASCOWe coded those not currently employed to their most recent employmentMissing values = 27 out of 780Occupational prestige was measured using the ANU3_2 scale. (McMillan and Jones 2000). This scale provides a prestige score for each of digit codes in the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO). The scores in this 100-point scale are based on survey data on the prestige of various occupations as well as income and education levels associated with occupations. In the survey, job descriptions (job title, primary activities and industry) were collected for current jobs of those employed and for the previous job for those not employed (including those in household duties and those retired). These job descriptions were then coded to 4-digit ASCO and converted into occupational prestige scores. Of 780 respondents, there were 27 job descriptions missing or unable to be coded.
12 Measures cont’d Social capital: 12 items relating to agency, trust and reciprocityFor example,agreement with “At work, I frequently take the initiative to do what needs to be done even if none asks me to”trust in “Neighbours who are not friends or family”frequency of exchanging practical help or advice with “Your close family and other relatives with whom you don’t live”5-point scalesα = .73Social capital. This 12 item scale came from combining three smaller 4 item scales relating to social capital (Western et al., 2002, Ch.5): social agency; particularised trust and informal reciprocity. Examples of items included how much residents agreed with “At work, I frequently take the initiative to do what needs to be done even if none asks me to” (social agency); how much trust residents had in “Neighbours who are not friends or family” (particularised trust); and frequency with which residents exchanged practical help or advice with “Your close family and other relatives with whom you don’t live” (informal reciprocity). All items were answered on 5 point scales where higher numbers indicating more social capital. The internal consistency of this scale was α = .73.
13 Measures cont’d Marginalisation: The Margins of Society (MOS) Alienation Scale7 statementsfor example, “I feel discriminated against”; “I wish I were someone important”; and “I don’t like to live by societies rules”.5-point agreement scaleα = .78.Strong positive skew. Analysis used natural logThe Margins of Society (MOS) Alienation Scale (MOS; Travis, 1993): This scale measures feelings of marginality using seven statements where respondents answer on a 5-point scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). For example, “I feel discriminated against”; “I wish I were someone important”; and “I don’t like to live by societies rules”. This measure’s reported internal consistency was α = .78.
14 Measures cont’d Life satisfaction: Average of 14 items Satisfaction in various life domainsFor example, employment, leisure time, family life, social relationships, health and standard of living5-point satisfaction scaleα = .85Life satisfaction. This measure comprised 14 items associated with satisfaction in various life domains such as employment, leisure time, family life, social relationships, health and standard of living. Residents responded to each items on a 5 point scale from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). The measure’s internal consistency in this sample was α = .85.
15 Measures cont’d Negative and positive affect PANAS scale (brief version):10 items for positive affect (e.g., proud, inspired, and interested) and10 items for negative affect (e.g., distressed, irritable, and afraid).Respondents were asked to what extent they feel this way right nowpositive affect α = .89negative affect α = .85Negative affect had a very strong positive skew. Analysis used a median split.Positive and Negative Affect Scale. (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988): The PANAS measures both positive and negative affect. The brief version was used which has 10 items for positive affect (e.g., proud, inspired, and interested) and 10 items for negative affect (e.g., distressed, irritable, and afraid). Respondents were asked to what extent they feel this way right now and answered on a scale from 1 (very slightly or not at all) to 5 (extremely). The reported internal consistency for positive affect was α = .89 and for negative affect was α = .85.
16 Occupational prestige ModelOccupational prestigeH1H4Life satisfactionMarginalisationH2H5Social capitalPositive affectMost of the variables were skewed to some extent. To cater for excessive skewness, the natural log of marginalisation was taken and negative affect was dichotomised using a median split. Asymptotic covariance matrices were also used which are free of distribution assumptions. However, the results using these transformations differed little from those using untransformed data except that the association between marginalisation and negative affect was stronger with untransformed data. The results using the transformed data are reported.H3H6InteractionNegative affect
17 Occupational prestige ResultsChi-square=61.49, df=9, p<.001, RMSEA=.09, AGFI=.92, CAIC=18.104.22.168Occupational prestige-.20-.36Life satisfactionMarginalisation-.18-.22.214.171.124Social capitalPositive affect-.22.08The standardised regression coefficients or beta’s (β’s) showed that the main effects on marginalisation of occupational prestige were significant (H1 and H2) but that there was no significant interaction between the two. Surprisingly, only 8 percent of marginalisation was predicted by occupational prestige and social capital (i.e., the residual error was .92). The beta’s also showed that marginalisation was associated with lower life satisfaction (H6), lower positive affect (H7) and higher negative affect (H8), though the association was strongest for life satisfaction and negative affect. The squared multiple correlations showed that marginalisation explains a considerable proportion of life satisfaction (.13) and negative affect (.13) when considered alone.-.07.03.36.06.87InteractionNegative affect
18 Results – modified model Occupational prestigeLife satisfactionMarginalisationSocial capitalPositive affectIn the modified model, the standardised residual errors were examined to see whether they suggested additional paths that would improve the model fit.InteractionNegative affect
19 Results – modified model Chi-square=12.58, df=6, p=.05, RMSEA=.04, AGFI=.97, CAIC=126.96.36.199Occupational prestige-.20-.31Life satisfactionMarginalisation.25-.18-.188.8.131.52.14Social capitalPositive affect-.19.08Direct paths from social to life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect were suggested by the standardised residual errors. This indicates that the effect of social capital on subjective well-being is not fully mediated by marginalisation. Social capital affects our subjective well-being not only by making us feel more part of society and less marginalised, but also directly. While this is true, the overall variation explained in the three dimensions of subjective well-being improved most for life satisfaction. Social capital when combined with marginalisation now explained 19 percent of variation in life satisfaction (i.e., the residual error was .81).-.11-.07.03.34.08.86InteractionNegative affect
20 Summary of ResultsOccupational prestige and social capital predict marginalisation to about the same degree, though social capital does not moderate the relationship between occupational prestige and marginalisationMarginalisation reduces subjective wellbeingSocial capital increase subjective wellbeing directly and indirectlyEven though occupational prestige and predict marginalisation, only a small percentage of marginalisation is explained (8%).Marginalisation reduces subjective wellbeing by lowering life satisfaction and positive affect while increasing negative affect. In particular, marginalisation explains a noteworthy amount of life satisfaction and negative affect (13% for both)Social capital predicts subjective wellbeing directly and indirectly. However, it is less important than marginalisation in predicting subjective wellbeing. Social capital and marginalisation together predict 19% of life satisfaction, 7% of positive and 14% of negative affectOccupational prestige and life satisfaction was fully mediated by marginalisation
21 Indirectly via lower marginalisation Can social capital buffer against feelings of marginalisation and its impact on subjective wellbeing?Social capital can improve subjective wellbeing directly and indirectlyIndirectly via lower marginalisationDirectly, mainly by increasing life satisfactionprobably by more satisfying social relationshipsor by assisting in achieving important life outcomesThe study showed that social capital improves subjective wellbeing in a multi-faceted way, both indirectly by ameliorating marginalisation as well as by directly improving subjective wellbeing. The indirect process was as expected whereby trust and reciprocity reduce feelings of marginalisation from society and consequently increase subjective wellbeing. However, additional direct effects of social capital on quality of life were not expected. The direct effects of social capital contribute especially to life satisfaction, probably through more satisfying social relationships. Another possibility is by using social and economic resources embodied in social capital to assist in achieving outcomes that improve subjective wellbeing. In addition, social capital has favourable emotional consequences for our lives by increasing positive affect and decreasing negative affect. Thus social capital is an important determinant of quality of life, and together with marginalisation explains substantial variation in subjective well-being.