Inequalities in objective and subjective social wellbeing

Western, Mark and Tomaszewski, Wojtek (2014). Inequalities in objective and subjective social wellbeing. LCC Working Paper Series 2014-01, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland.

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Author Western, Mark
Tomaszewski, Wojtek
Title Inequalities in objective and subjective social wellbeing
School, Department or Centre Institute for Social Science Research
Institution The University of Queensland
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Series LCC Working Paper Series
Report Number 2014-01
Publication date 2014-09
Total pages 25
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In recent years policy makers and social scientists have turned their attention to the direct measurement of social wellbeing, a multidimensional construct that refers to the capacity of humans to live healthy, creative and fulfilling lives. In this approach, social wellbeing has objective components based in the social, economic, political and environmental conditions of individuals and households, and subjective components that are cognitive and affective evaluations of these conditions. This paper uses three waves of a representative state-level household panel study from Queensland, Australia to investigate how objective measures of wellbeing are socially distributed by gender, class, age, ethnicity and Indigenous status. These are major sources of categorical inequality in many countries. We next examine the relationships between objective dimensions of social wellbeing and life satisfaction. The objective measures of wellbeing investigated in the paper include degree of financial hardship, access to adequate food, clothing, housing, care, health and social connections, and access to leisure time. The results indicate that objective aspects of wellbeing are unequally distributed by gender, age, class, ethnicity and Indigeneity in ways that imply these are categorical inequalities in Australia, and that categorical inequalities and objective aspects of wellbeing also have strong and persistent associations with life satisfaction.
Keyword Categorical inequalities
Objective wellbeing
Subjective wellbeing
Gender inequality
Class inequality
Ethnic inequality
Indigenous inequality
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Tue, 16 Jun 2015, 17:46:03 EST by Mary-Anne Marrington on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research