A Multilevel Approach to Measuring Social Capacity in a European Context

in The International Journal of Social Quality
View More View Less
  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences bodi.ferenc@tk.mta.hu
  • 2 Hungarian Academy of Sciences farkasj@rkk.hu
  • 3 Széchenyi István University robert@tarki.hu
Restricted access

Abstract

The focus of this article’s research was to measure and compare the social capacity, social quality, quality of life, and subjective well-being of four Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) and four postsocialist countries known as the Visegrád Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) in order to analyze similarities and differences. The analysis was conducted utilizing both micro and macro approaches. On the micro level, four new complex indicators were developed from the social well-being model of the 2012 European Social Survey, based on the social quality approach, while the macro-level analysis consisted of indicators from the Eurostat Regions database and the 2011 population census. The analysis demonstrates that using complex indicators and combining a micro-macro approach can complement each other, bringing about an understanding of nuances and subtle differences not found in singular approaches and creating a more accurate assessment of the social quality in local, city, and national levels of society.

Contributor Notes

Ferenc Bódi is a sociologist and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He takes part in the Program of National Excellence at the University of Pannonia. His scholarly career started in 1992 and 1993 with the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund. Furthermore, between 2004 and 2007, he earned the Bolyai Research Grant. He has belonged to Local Organization of Social Services (LOSS) international research team since 1995. His main research interests include the effects of crisis on society, social disruptions of values, and measuring anomie. E-mail: bodi.ferenc@tk.mta.hu

Jenő Zsolt Farkas is a historian, geographer, GIS expert, and Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has a PhD in Earth Sciences and is a member of the Hungarian Geographical Society. His main research field is rural geography, especially in rural restructuring processes, the effect of EU subsidies, and state regulations to agriculture and land use. His research interests also involve regional inequalities and regional development models and their adaptation in rural development. E-mail: farkasj@rkk.hu

Péter Róbert is Professor of Sociology at the Széchenyi István University. He earned his degree at Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE), received his PhD from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and has made his habilitation at ELTE. He also works as a project-based senior researcher at TÁRKI Social Research Institute. His research interests include social stratification, educational inequalities, school-to-work transition, the perception of social inequalities, and subjective well-being. E-mail: robert@tarki.hu

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

  • Abbott, P., and C. Wallace. 2014. “Rising Economic Prosperity and Social Quality: The Case of New Member States of the European Union.” Social Indicators Research 115 (1): 419439.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Andorka R. 1996. “Deviáns viselkedések Magyarországon: Általános értelmezési keret.” [Deviant behaviors in Hungary: A general framework for interpretation.] In Devianciák Magyarországon [Deviances in Hungary], ed. F. Moksony and I. Münnich, 3175. Budapest: Közélet Kiadó.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beck, W., L. J. G. van der Maesen, and A. Walker. 1997. The Social Quality of Europe. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.

  • Beck, W., L. J. G. van der Maesen, F. Thomése, and A. Walker. 2001. Social Quality: A Vision for Europe. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Besnard, P. 2001. “Anomie.” In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 11, ed. N. J. Smelser and P. B. Baltes, 510513. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bódi, F., J. Farkas, and Z. Horváth. 2014. “Anomie as a Thermometer of the Crisis (Experiment)—Social Capacity—Phenomenon of the Complex Crisis.” In Access to Services in Rural Areas: A Comparison of Finland and Hungary, ed. F. Bódi, G. Fábián, M. Fónai, J. Kurkinen, R. T. Lawson, and H. Pietiläinen, 149172. Bremen: Europäischer Hochschulverlag.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bohle, D., and B. Greskovits. 2012. Capitalist Diversity on Europe’s Periphery. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

  • Durkheim, É. 1982. Az öngyilkosság [The suicide]. Budapest: Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó.

  • Esping-Andersen, G. 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity.

  • ESS (European Social Survey). 2012. ESS Round 6 Source Questionnaire. London: Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University London. http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/docs/round6/fieldwork/source/ESS6_source_main_questionnaire.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • European Commission. 2013. Social Europe: Current Challenges and the Way Forward—Annual Report of the Social Protection Committee (2012). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=9760&langId=en.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evans, M., and S. Syrett. 2007. “Generating Social Capital? The Social Economy and Local Economic Development.” European Urban and Regional Studies 14 (1): 5574.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hansen, K. B. 2015. “Exploring Compatibility between ‘Subjective Well-Being’ and ‘Sustainable Living’ in Scandinavia.” Social Indicators Research 122 (1): 175187. doi:10.1007/s11205-014-0684-9.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Helliwell, J., R. Layard, and J. Sachs, eds. 2015. World Happiness Report 2015. New York: Earth Institute. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/article24073928.ece/BINARY/World+Happiness+Report.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Herrmann, P., L. J. G. van der Maesen, and A. Walker. 2011. “Social Quality Indicators.” In van der Maesen et al. 2011: 94115.

  • Lin, K., and P. Herrmann. 2015. Social Quality Theory: A New Perspective on Social Development. Brooklyn, NY: Berghahn Books.

  • Kaasa, A. 2009. “Effects of Different Dimensions of Social Capital on Innovative Activity: Evidence from Europe at the Regional Level.” Technovation 29 (3): 218233.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaasa, A., M. Vadi, and U. Varblane. 2013. “European Social Survey as a Source of New Cultural Dimensions Estimates for Regions.” International Journal of Cross Cultural Management 13 (2): 137157.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaasa, A., M. Vadi, and U. Varblane. 2014. “Regional Cultural Differences Within European Countries: Evidence from Multi-country Surveys.” Management International Review 54 (6): 825852.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kopp, M., and Á. Skrabski. 1992. Magyar lelkiállapot [Hungarian state of mind]. Budapest: Végeken Alapítvány.

  • Kopp, M., and M. E. Kovács, eds. 2006. A magyar népesség életminősége az ezredfordulón [The quality of life of the Hungarian population at the turn of the millennium]. Budapest: Semmelweis Kiadó.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Layard, R. 2005. Happiness: Lessons from a New Science. New York: Penguin.

  • Merton, R. 1968. Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press.

  • OECD. 2011. OECD Regional Outlook 2011: Building Resilient Regions for Stronger Economies. Paris: OECD Publishing.

  • OECD. 2015. How’s Life? 2015: Measuring Well-Being. Paris: OECD Publishing.

  • Portfolio.hu. 2015. “Itt az eurózóna másik fekete báránya: Mi történt Finnországgal?” [Here is the other black lamb of the eurozone: What happened to Finland?] 6 August. http://www.portfolio.hu/gazdasag/itt_az_eurozona_masik_fekete_baranya_mi_tortent_finnorszaggal.217907.html.

    • Export Citation
  • Savelkoul, M., M. Gesthuizen, and P. Scheepers. 2011. “Explaining Relationships between Ethnic Diversity and Informal Social Capital across European Countries and Regions: Tests of Constrict, Conflict and Contact Theory.” Social Science Research 40 (4): 10911107.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sen, A. K. 1993. “Capability and Well-Being.” In The Quality of Life, ed. M. C. Nussbaum and A. K. Sen, 3053. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Soelter, E. R., and R. T. Lawson. 2012. “A Socio-cultural Model of Evolution of the Welfare States.” In Local Organization of Social Services in Hungary, ed. F. Bódi, G. Fábián, and R. T. Lawson, 218. Bremen: Europäischer Hochschulverlag.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spéder, Z., B. Paksi, and Z. Elekes. 1998. “Anómia és elégedettség a 90-es évek elején.” [Anomy and satisfaction in the ’90s.] In Társadalmi riport 1998 [Social report 1998], ed. T. Kolosi, I. G. Tóth, and G. Vukovich, 490513. Budapest: TÁRKI.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stiglitz, J. E., A. Sen, and J. P. Fitoussi. 2009. Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. http://www.stiglitz-sen-fitoussi.fr/documentsrapport_anglais.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Szalai, B., and D. Csurgó. 2015. “A nokia másodszor is megcsinálta a csodát.” [The Nokia did the miracle a second time.] Index, 7 August. http://index.hu/gazdasag/2015/08/07/nokia_mobil_halozat_osszeomlas_feltamadas.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Uggen, C. 2001. “Crime and Class.” In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 11, ed. N. J. Smelser and P. B. Baltes, 29062910. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van Der Maesen, L. J. G., and A. Walker, eds. 2012. Social Quality: From Theory to Indicators. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Wilson, L. 2006. “Developing a Model for the Measurement of Social Inclusion and Social Capital in Regional Australia.” Social Indicators Research 75 (3): 335360.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 42 42 8
Full Text Views 5 5 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0