1. First, list your current professional title. Second, describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies. Feel free to describe this in detail.
I am a doctoral student in the department of economics at the New School for Social Research in New York. I also work as a researcher for UNICEF’s Data and Analytics Unit. My published work is centered on issues concerning child poverty, public finance, stratification economics, and human development and capabilities. Last year, I collaborated with Sakiko Fukuda-Parr on a chapter about human development and capabilities in the Palgrave Handbook of Development Economics. This chapter highlights the need of economics to broaden its conception of Quality of Life and how alternative frameworks can inform this exercise. This year, I also published a chapter on the situation of children in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Cote d’Ivoire in a recent book on child poverty and social protection in Central and West Africa. Among other innovations, this article broadens the conceptualization of child poverty by measuring material deprivations that limit children’s right to play. In an upcoming publication with colleagues from UNICEF, we also assess the relationship between multidimensional child poverty and broader (i.e. not strictly material) measures of Quality of Life such as family relationships (neglect, inadequate care), recreation, safety from violence, emotional well-being and life satisfaction.
2. What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?
The multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary, nature of QOL studies certainly attracted me to the field. As a student of economics, I have always shared an interest in broadening my horizons beyond the discipline. In previous work, for example, I collaborated with sociologists from the American Sociological Association to assess the career trajectory of Black and Hispanic economists and sociologists in the United States. This analysis not only addressed disparities but also the emotional/psychological toll of attempting an academic career in an unfriendly and discriminatory environment. I believe this type of collaborative approach and exposure to different, yet related, disciplines are important in the study of social phenomena and Quality of Life.
3. What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?
As an emerging student of the QoL literature, I am certainly interested in studies that employ the QoL framework to look at issues concerning intergroup disparities, a concern that guides much of the bourgeoning field of stratification economics.
4. How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?
I became a member of ISQOLS during the summer of 2019, in preparation for the 17th ISQOLS Annual Conference in Granada, Spain, where I presented a paper along with UNICEF colleagues, Enrique Delamonica and Mohamed Obaidy, on child poverty and subjective well-being in Sub-Saharan Africa. My experience in Granada introduced me to the fascinating work QoL life researchers are doing and I have since become a student of theirs. In Granada, for example, I met Jacquelin Moodley from the Department of Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, and I learned a great deal about her work on poverty and disability. Her work and our conversations have helped broaden my perspective in thinking about how child deprivation and disability interact.
5. Feel free to include any other important comments or things you'd like to share with the ISQOLS community.
I hope to continue being a student of the QoL literature; and more importantly, I hope to continue to meet researchers in the field who are interested in opportunities to collaborate in the analysis of QoL among children and adolescents and on the impact of disparities and discrimination on QoL.
The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS)