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Denis Bouget and Philippe Tessier

Phillips, David. 2006. Quality of Life, Concept, Policy and Practice.

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Sandra S. Butler and Adrienne L. Cohen

This article presents two independent studies examining the experiences of older adults aging in rural environments in the United States. In face-to-face interviews, study participants (n = 66 in study 1 and n = 8 in study 2) were asked what they like about aging in a rural area and what they found challenging. Interview transcripts were analyzed for recurring themes in each study and striking similarities were found with regard to the importance of nature or “aesthetic capital” to the well-being of the study participants. Primary themes emerging from study 1 data included peace, safety, beauty, space, and interacting with nature. The themes emerging from the second study included the world outside the window, traveling around by car, and longing for natural beauty. A negative theme that emerged from both studies related to the dearth of health and social services in rural areas. Implications of the studies' findings with regard to the value of nature in the lives of elders are discussed in relation to practice, policy, and planning.

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Searching for a New Way of Thinking about Society

A Noospheric Social Quality Orientation for Development toward Sustainability

Vyacheslav Nikolayevitch Bobkov and Nikolay Vyacheslavovich Bobkov

for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]), human development (UN), human security (Japan, Thailand), quality of life (EU), social capital (World Bank), and social harmony (China). It is increasingly made clear that the concept of social quality needs to be

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Ferenc Bódi, Jenő Zsolt Farkas and Péter Róbert

capacity (or its counterpole, anomie or social deficit), Well-being (its objective and subjective sides are separated), Quality of life, Social quality (in terms of the concept developed by representatives of the International Association on Social Quality

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Affective Solidarities?

Participating in and Witnessing Fair Trade and Women’s Empowerment in Transnational Communities of Practice

Debarati Sen

the plantation labour act. Fair trade as an empowering venture must address the issue of bargaining power of producers since wages and benefits are baseline determinants of quality of life for plantation workers. As I witnessed, fair trade

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Expert and Lay Knowledge in Pacoima

Public Anthropology and an Essential Tension in Community-based Participatory Action Research

Carl A. Maida

This paper explores the role of 'public anthropology' in the dialogue between practitioners of professional and lay knowledge about urban quality of life. The focus is on community building in Pacoima, a working-class Latino community in Los Angeles, and explores how professionals and residents established an arena and moved towards common ground on environmental health issues, including lead and other toxic exposures. Similar to Pacoima, arenas have emerged in the more engaged communities, worldwide, where quality of life issues, such as health care, housing and the environment, are debated. Within these arenas, experts and laypersons have resolved disputes over competing claims about the definition of an issue, and for equity and greater access to common resources, or public goods, despite vast disparities in knowledge and perspectives that have been shaped by divergent occupational techniques, habits of mind and world images.

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Mathieu Flonneau

June 2013 saw the completion of a project to transform the riverside expressway on the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris into a pedestrian promenade, accompanied by a series of leisure and recreation features. This article critiques that project as a purely cosmetic measure for the prestigious city centre, decrying both its underlying ideology and its unintended consequences, and raising questions concerning the new urban quality of life and the moralization of mobilities.

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The Individual and the Social

A Comparative Study of Quality of Life, Social Quality and Human Development Approaches

David Phillips

The overall aim of this paper is to compare the human development (HD) and social quality (SQ) approaches in the context of quality of life in general and in relation to development in particular. It commences with a broad overview of several perspectives including: prudential values; Sen's capability approach; Berger-Schmitt and Noll's overarching quality of life construct; Phillips' quality of life construct; and Doyal and Gough's theory of Human Needs. en HD and SQ are introduced. HD emphasises well-being, enlarging people's choices, living a long and healthy life, being educated and enjoying a decent standard of living. All this is predicated on the UNDP's insistence that it is people who comprise the real wealth of nations: HD emphasises the well-being of individuals. Two sets of tensions are then discussed: first between the ability to exercise individual freedom and the constraints upon freedom imposed by the provision of compulsory education of children which facilitates that freedom (an institutional threshold to 'the social'); and secondly, the relationship between personhood, social relationships and collective capabilities (an interactive threshold to the social). This is followed by an exploration of whether HD's individualistic orientation is a weakness or whether its explicit incompleteness is a strength. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible ways forward in developing the HD construct, either by incorporating the notion of 'the social' within its framework or else via strategies of using it in partnership with the social quality theory that can both extend it and provide it with a richer theoretical justification.

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Göran Therborn and Sonia Therborn

‘Social quality’ is not a common term in Sweden and its sister notion ‘quality of life’ is used mainly with respect to the conditions of particular individuals and rarely, if ever, in social analysis. Swedish social statistics and social studies focus on ‘levels of living’ or ‘living conditions’. The perceived subjectivity connotations of ‘quality’ in this context have not been attractive. On the other hand, Swedish social research and policy evaluation have de facto been very much concerned with measuring what may properly be called qualitative dimensions of living conditions and correspondingly less interested in, for example, the possession of consumer goods.

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Zoe Bray and Christian Thauer

ABSTRACT

In this article, we explore how corporate social responsibility may serve to mitigate the conflict between the utopia that many people—particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds in emerging markets states—associate with globalization and, on the other hand, the detrimental effect this globalization often actually has both on the quality of life of people and on the environment. Empirical data is drawn from field research on firm and local community relations in South Africa and China. We consider the extent to which corporate social responsibility may be a means to move beyond both utopian hopes and the dystopian reality of globalization.