17th ISQOLS Annual Conference in Granada, Spain, 4-7 September 2019
by Natalia Kopylova
University of Johannesburg, South Africa,
24 September 2019
I attended the ISQOLS conference that took place in beautiful Granada. It was my first international conference and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
I was given the opportunity to not only present the topic “Subjective wellbeing in countries in transition: Russia and South Africa” but also be the chair of the session “Well-being around the world” which took place on the 5th of September (the second day of the conference). It was a nerve-wracking moment, considering that I’ve never presented internationally. In my opinion, the session was received successfully by academic researchers and experts that attended parallel session that morning.
During the conference, I was able to attend numerous sessions and workshops that directly relate to my research interests. The speakers provided valuable information that will help me going further. For example, the keynote lectures by Stefano Bartollini and Michael Marmot were inspiring and thought provoking. The first one focused on money, social relationships and people’s happiness. Whereas the second speaker concentrated on health inequalities and social determinants of health. On the first day of the conference (4th of September) I took part in the pre-conference workshop by Lara Fleischer “The future of OECD well-being measures”. It was an interactive session where all attendants participated in the discussion of the proposed headline indicators set. The dashboard of the indicators will assist me further when conducting one of my PhD topics. On the third day (6th of September) I was present at the morning parallel session on “Quality of life among the elderly”. Presenters investigated the elderly’s well-being, their activities and proposed methods that could be used in order to improve their lives. The afternoon session of “Happiness and technology” showed a different perspective on the measurement of the levels of happiness among the people.
Being in the first year of my PhD, this conference gave me great exposure to a plethora of new content and opened the door to many opportunities. I was fortunate enough to meet international academics whose work I have read and cited which was the highlight of my trip. There was always a chance to interact and exchange views during the conference sessions and coffee breaks. This conference was an eye-opening experience that gave me more knowledge and confidence for the future.
I would like to thank the ISQOLS for giving me the Educational Grant. A special thank you to my supervisor, Prof. Talita Greyling, who introduced me to this field and provided such generous support and guidance. It was a great pleasure to be a participant in such a momentous event.
Dalia Research is launching the first-ever daily global happiness monitor: everyday we ask thousands of people in over 50 countries around the world how happy they are, generating the world’s largest continuous dataset on global happiness. Our goal is to help organizations, researchers and governments better understand the well-being of countries around the world in real-time, as events ranging from elections, sports, financial crashes, extreme weather, conflicts and new technologies send ripple effects around the globe. In doing so, we hope to prioritize happiness as the guiding indicator for national well-being and policy-making.
Call to action for researchers:
Dalia Research has the technology to run this global survey, but we need advice from the happiness science community. Our currently methodology is a first attempt - we are still flexible and ready to take advice from the research community to change the design to make it as useful as possible. Please keep in mind that the final data will be open source, and free to researchers and the public in general, so your help will translate into a better dataset and more value for everyone interested in happiness measurements.
Specifically, we are looking to answer the following questions:
1) In what ways is tracking happiness levels around the world on a daily basis valuable for the research community? What could it be used for?
2) Imagine you could build a happiness tracker. What survey question would you use to measure happiness? Would you include any other additional variables, or is external data on political events enough?
Please send your responses to:
About us: Dalia Research is a Berlin-based public opinion company that distributes surveys to millions of people around the world through apps/websites on their internet devices.
Methodology: The current methodology for the Global Happiness Monitor (it may be subject to change depending on the feedback we get) is the following:
We ask a nationally representative sample of 200 respondents in each country everyday.
The survey question is borrowed from Gallup: Did you experience any of the following emotions a lot yesterday? (Anger, Happiness, Sadness, Stress, Worry, Physical Pain, Enjoyment, None of the above)
Well-Being 2020: Knowledge for Informed Decisions
The Well-Being 2020 Conference: Knowledge for Informed Decisions will be hosted in Luxembourg from the 18th to the 21st of March 2020. The organizers are the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (STATEC) and the Ministry of Economy of Luxembourg. The conference offers excellent key note speakers, a policy roundtable, a beautiful location, and a great opportunity to exchange and discuss research on well-being.
This is an interdisciplinary conference welcoming contributions from every field of social sciences, such as: economics, sociology, psychology, and political sciences. We especially welcome papers on the following topics:
- Correlates and consequences of well-being and ill-being (e.g. personality, wealth, productivity, immigration, occupation, health);
- Well-being over time;
- Well-being inequality;
- Inequality, social capital, and inclusive growth;
- Well-being and the changing environment;
- Public or private interventions for well-being and their evaluations;
- Future directions in well-being research;
- Well-being and ill-being metrics (e.g. single indicators vs. dashboards; micro vs. macro).
Our four keynote speakers are: prof. Carol Graham, University of Maryland & Brookings Institution; prof. Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick; prof. Stefano Bartolini, University of Siena; and Mr. John De Graaf, an American author, journalist and filmmaker.
For more details, please visit our website (https://www.wellbeing2020.lu/) or feel free to contact us (submitSWB2020@statec.etat.lu).
Leire Iriarte (of Buen Vivir) is conducting a study in collaboration with Laura Musikanski (Happiness Alliance) about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the metrics of well-being and happiness.
At the beginning of this year we published a study analyzing the interactions between ODS and happiness metrics. This is the work I presented at the ISQOLS webinar. Following that work, we have designed a survey to gather the opinion of different actors with an interest in the subject. You can answer the Spanish or English version of this survey, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete, through any of the following links:
- Survey in Spanish: https://forms.gle/PLGHRTfSLUjHa9v97
- Survey in English: https://forms.gle/2LVj3BasRHjpehe68
The survey will be open until 14 August and the results of the study will be presented and discussed in an online workshop on 27 August (9 a.m. CET in Spanish; 5 p.m. CET in English).
I would be very grateful if you could answer the survey as well as distribute it among ISQOLS members since I am sure that there are many people interested in the subject who can make great contributions.
The results will be open for everyone interested in them. Our plan is:
- Present the results of the survey in an online workshop the 27th of August.
- Present the results of the survey and workshop in Granada (I have an oral presentation on Saturday).
- Submit the results to the open source journal: International Journal of Community Well-being (hopefully in fall).
Thank you very much for your time and wish you happy summer time!
The inequality of progress
By: Mahar Mangahas -
Over time, some people get better off, and some others get worse off. To gauge the progress of the whole group, it is fruitless to try to measure the gains of the former and the losses of the latter. On the ground that all people are inherently equal, I think any measure, such as per capita income, that uses averaging to allow the welfare of a few to outweigh the welfare of the many, should be rejected.
It is simpler, more democratic and scientifically sound to count the gainers, rather than their gains, and the losers, rather than their losses. By comparing the number of gainers and losers, one can see that there has been constant progress among the Filipino people since 2015. Most recently, the gainers were 38 percent of adults, whereas the losers were 21 percent (“First Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey: Net Gainers remain ‘Very High’ at +17,” www.sws.org.ph, 5/24/19).
Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/122420/the-inequality-of-progress
No e-mail required!
➲ The gender bias in the field of economics
➲ The soft skills you need to succeed as an economist
➲ Climate change and how economics can help solve it
➲ What makes a successful economist
➲ An interview with Princeton Professor, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
➲ Winners of the INOMICS Awards 2019
➲ Recommended study and career opportunities
Using big data to measure the relationship between happiness and political events and strike actions.
Talita Greyling and Stephanie Rossouw developed a Gross National Happiness (GNH) index using big data. This index enables them to measure the affect happiness of a nation in near real-time. The duo launched this index on 30 April in South Africa ahead of the elections (that took place on 8 May) and followed happiness levels during and after the elections. They found strong correlations between the political event and happiness.
The GNH index was launched in New Zealand and Australia during the week of 13 May. Consequently, the elections in Australia on 18 May allowed them to track happiness levels in the same manner that they did for South Africa. The results obtained, further illustrate the strong effect political events have on affect happiness.
Next up, they will test the GNH index in New Zealand when the country experiences their largest industrial strike action in recorded history on 29 May 2019. This industrial action will include both primary and secondary teachers demonstrating against the government, regarding their wages and working conditions. They are very excited to see how the GNH of New Zealand, will be influenced by this strike. Anecdotally, it is believed that New Zealanders are behind the teachers but what will the data reveal?
The newly constrcuted GNH index has attracted the attention of international media, governments, political parties and financial players, especially in South Africa, though also in New Zealand and Australia. All of this signals the realisation by people that economic, political and social events cannot be interpreted without considering the subjective wellbeing of people.
The researchers are still refining and improving the index and are eager to share their results with all of you in Granada in September.
Talita and Stephanie
Congratulations to ISQOLS members, M. Joseph Sirgy, Richard J. Estes, El-Sayed El-Aswad, Don R. Rahtz, on the publication of their new book:
"Combatting Jihadist Terrorism through Nation Building: A Quality-of-Life Perspective"
Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion and its societies are among the most influential worldwide. But that has been case for more than 5,000 years given that the ancient peoples of the countries of the MENA region and, in recent centuries, following the death of the prophet in 632 of the Common Era. What became known as “Arabs” in recent centuries were and are peoples who all share with the rest of the world the beauty of their literature, poetry, song, and dance, the beauty of the Koran which builds on religious beliefs and written sacred texts, extraordinary artwork, and architecture, and the lingering puzzlements of the Giza plateau which shares the three great pyramids and likely the much older Sphinx among other architectural feats that have not been uncovered. Arab scientists also gave us the “0” digit that has proven to be so essential to modern mathematics, unparalleled advances in science and technology, a higher quality of paper, and, most important for the purposes of this book, a spirit of tolerance for persons of other religious and cultural background.
This volume traces an anomaly in the Arab/Islamic communities, that of intolerance, violence, and even terrorism. But all four authors have sought to weave together a coherent history and explanation of the small number of radical Islamists who engage in violence not only in their societies but in those of larger MENA region as well and the world. We believe we have succeeded in achieving our original intention in putting together this book within both a historical and contemporary content. All four authors believe that this monograph fills a major gap in the contemporary literature concerning the drivers of violence within and between Islamic communities and other nations. We hope that readers will agree with us on this important accomplishment (along with the rich array of references that also are found throughout the volume).
The Book’s Organization
Though theoretically-based in its conception an organization the volume is, nonetheless written in a style and language that is easily accessible the educated reader. In all, the book is divided into eight chapters, each of which is history and extended contemporary references for use by educators in incorporating the most important part of the monograph’s conferences into relevant international and comparative contentment on the theory, research, and quality of life intervention in various regions of the world with a special focus on the 411 million people living in the highly diverse nationals of North Africa and West Asia—the Middle East or MENA region of the world.
The first chapter (Chapter 1: In Search of a Roadmap to Peace and Understanding) introduces to the reader a quality-of-life model that addresses the drivers of Jihadist terrorism from which we deduce counterterrorism programs. Specifically, we provide suggestive evidence to show increased incidence of Jihadist terrorism is mostly motivated by increased negative sentiment of aggrieved Muslims toward their more affluent Western neighbors. This negative sentiment is influenced by a host of quality-of-life factors: economic ill-being factors (e.g., income disparities, poverty, and unemployment; and disparities in technological innovation), political ill-being factors (e.g., authoritarian tribal and exclusionary regimes), religious ill-being factors (e.g., increased Islamic religiosity, and lack of secularism), globalization and media ill-being factors (e.g., the global media), and cultural ill-being factors (e.g., perceived decadence of Western culture, and Western prejudice and discrimination).
Chapter 2(Jews, Christians, and Muslims: Historical Conflicts and Challenges) summarizes the MENA region’s rich social, political, cultural, and religious history and brings that history up to the present. We tried to demonstrate that the region’s contemporary history of Islamist jihadism and terrorism is rooted in socio-political forces that have been at play for many centuries, indeed, in the case of the region’s Jews and Christians, for millennia. These drivers of terrorism, in turn, are based on the high level of grievance that members of the region’s three major religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have endured almost since their establishment. Conflicts with neighboring states, multiple periods of colonial occupation, and the forced displacement of large numbers of the region’s people also contribute to the high levels of violence associated with comparatively low levels of quality of life and well-being for a disproportionate percentage of the region’s population.
Chapter 3 (Joblessness, Political Unrest, and Jihadism among the Region’s Youth: Contemporary Challenges and Future Trends) addresses the major economic driver of Islamist jihadist terrorism, namely unemployment among the youth in the MENA region. This chapter explores the critical relationship that exists between the region’s patterns of economic development and its broad-based social gains since the year 2000 to the present. Special attention is given to the relationship that exists between economic frustration, the region’s rapidly increasing numbers of young people, the sense of relative deprivation experienced by these young people and, in some cases, their turning to violence, even terrorism, as an outlet for expressing their frustration and sense of aggrievement toward others they believe to be responsible for their poverty and, more fundamentally, sense of economic anomie.
Chapter 4 (Cultural Drivers of Jihadist Terrorism and Increasing Religiosity) focuses on cultural and religious factors related to the rise of the Islamist jihadist movement. We make the distinction between the Islamic worldview and ideology and place much of jihadist beliefs that motivate terrorist action in the category of ideology. We discuss the cultural drivers of jihadism couched in the context of religious-cultural paradigms. Specifically, we explore cultural and religious factors that drive the behavior or actions of radical Islamist jihadists toward violence, factors such as grievance and humiliation crisis, revenge and the need to defeat the enemy, establishment of the Islamic State and the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate, the vanguard of the ummah, martyrdom and reward in the afterlife, glorification of Allah, defending sacred places, the temporal paradigm, and chivalric and heroic feats.
Chapter 5 (Political Drivers of Islamist Jihad) focuses of tribal and exclusionary political actions of authoritarian regimes in the MENA. We make the case that those political drivers are associated with Islamist jihadist terrorist actions. We describe the history of authoritarian regimes of Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan and jihadist terrorist incidents in these countries. We then concluded with a discussion about Tunisia, a country that experienced authoritarian rule but emerged from this experience with democratic bearings.
In Chapter 6 (Globalization, the Media, and Islamist Jihad) we discuss five major themes directly related to globalization, the media, and their effects on the rise jihadist terrorism in the last 4-5 decades. These themes are (1) globalization and the breakdown of the welfare state; (2) globalization, consumerism, and postmodernism; (3) negative media portrayals of Islam and Muslims in Western and global media, (4) the use of global media by Wahhabis and Jihadi terrorists; and (5) the effects of media owned and operated by political Islamists.
Chapter 7 (Current Response: Counterterrorism Strategies Focusing on the Supply-Side of the Terrorism Market) describes how Western governments as well as governments in the MENA region respond to acts of Islamist jihadist terrorism. The focus seems to be on short-term public safety, or what we call “supply-side” strategies. These are strategies designed to dismantle the marketing organization of militant Islamic groups. Supply-side strategies cannot effectively address the problem of radical Islam without developing compatible demand-side strategies—counterterrorism strategies designed to reduce demand. Thus, demand-side counterterrorism strategies serve to complement supply-side strategies. We tried in this chapter to describe current terrorism policy and action focusing on the supply-side of the terrorism market.
Finally, in Chapter 8 (Proposed Response: Counterterrorism Strategies Focusing on the Demand Side of the Terrorism Market), we recommend counterterrorism strategies focusing on the demand side of the terrorism market. We do so by focusing of drivers of market demand: culture, religion, economy, politics, globalization, and media. We propose specific counterterrorism strategies that are directly deduced from our analysis of the drivers of market demand.
The volume will be published by Springer by mid-summer 2019 as part of the recently developed series on Human Well-Being Research and Policy-Making. In addition to the current volume, other books in the series include el-Sayed el-Aswad, Professor Anthropology (United Arab Emirates [UAE]), The Quality of Life and Policy Issues among the Middle East and North African Countries (2019); and, Vijay Kumar Shrotryia, Professor of Business (India), Human Well-Being and Policy-Making in South Asia.
Click the link below for the .pdf version of this announcement and summary:
E-News-Sinet n 190308.pdf
The RC55, the Research Committee on Social Indicators of the International Sociological Association, is organizing its next mid-term conference on “Comparative Perspectives on Social Indicators” in the context of 13th Spanish Congress of Sociology (Valencia, Spain, 3–6 July 2019).
In the context of 13th Spanish Congress of Sociology (Valencia, Spain, 3–6 July 2019)
RC55 Research Committee on Social Indicators
invitation to participate in the 2019 Mid-term Conference
“Comparative Perspectives on Social Indicators”
Call for abstracts
Grupo de Trabajo 43 (Work Group 43) ISA Research Committee 55: Social Indicators
From 3 to 6 July 2019 the 13th Spanish Sociology Conference, with the theme: Societies at the crossroads, the commitments of sociology, will be held in Valencia, Spain. The Spanish Federation of Sociology will organise the conference with the assistance of the Universidad de Valencia and the Asociación Valenciana de Sociología.
The RC55 Research Committee on Social Indicators of the International Sociological Association is pleased to invite authors to submit abstracts for oral presentations that address comparative research in the study of social reality, focusing on the construction and use of social indicators in comparative research among countries (including comparisons among regions or cities). Contributions can be of theoretical nature, applied studies or methodological reflections (either in a quantitative, qualitative or mixed perspective), but with a clear comparative focus (i.e. measurement and study of same phenomena in different countries). Thematically, contributions to all social indicators domains are welcome, like, for instance, social inequality, consumption, wellbeing, etc.
We expect to received contributions in some of these topics:
A publishing opportunity for participants at Special Issue on Social Indicators Research A selection of contribution will be invited after the conference to submit a full version (on September) of their contribution for possible publication in a forthcoming Special Issue of Social Indicators Research Journal.
Abstract submissions Deadline: December 31th, 2018. Extended to March 15th, 2019 for GT 43 group - ISA RC 55 group- Confirmation of acceptance: April 11th, 2019
Length of abstracts: maximum of 250 words.
Registration: Opening: 08 March 2019 Early registration period: 26 April 2019 All accepted abstracts will be included in the conference proceedings if the registration fee was paid up to 07 May 2019. Conference proceedings publication: 22 May 2019
Coordinator Task Group: Sandra Fachelli (Pablo de Olavide University - University Autonomous of Barcelona)
Task Group Members: Christian Suter (Université de Neuchâtel), Joonmo Son (National University of Singapore), Jeroen Boelhouwer (The Netherlands Institute for Social Research), Enrico Di Bella (University of Genoa), Pedro Lopez-Roldán (University Autonomous of Barcelona) and Eduardo Bericat (Universidad de Sevilla).
Send abstract to: email@example.com
Follow this recommendation: Subject: GT 43 ISA Research Committee 55: Social Indicators Body of message: Title of Proposal: Contribution Topic: Abstract: Name and Surname Author 1. Filiation Author 1. Author e-mail. Name and Surname Author 2. Filiation Author 2. Author e-mail. Name and Surname Author 3. Filiation Author 3. Author e-mail. Identify author of contact.
Practical information • Conference website http://www.congresofes.com/index.cfm?id_idioma=EN • GT43 ISA Research Committee 55: Social Indicators: http://www.congresofes.com/gt-43-isaresearch-committee-55-social-indicators_798741332_69519.html • Accommodation coming soon in: http://www.congresofes.com/alojamiento_798741576_67893.html
FES_GT43 General Call.pdf
Recruitment of Four Researchers in Psychology
Opening of the recruitment process of four researchers in the field of Psychology, to collaborate in an "Experimental Study on the Impact of Singing Groups on the Well-being, Cognitive Function and Health of Older Adults."
Intervention research project with the Scientific Supervision of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa (Doctor Iolanda Costa Galinha) and ISCTE-IUL (Doctor Maria Luísa Lima), in partnership with the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Almada and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, funded by the “Orçamento Participativo Portugal” (2017) and promoted and coordinated by the DGArtes.
Objective: Collaboration in the writing of one scientific paper and one scientific poster.
Work location: at distance (by means of two reports per month, supervised by the scientific coordination of the project).
Remuneration: € 4500 gross payment in four branches at the conclusion of the: (1) introduction (including state of the art) and method; (2) results; and (3) discussion sections of the paper; and (4) the scientific poster.
Duration: 12 months, starting 1st May 2019.
(1) Master or PhD in Psychology or Social Sciences;
(2) good command (written and spoken) of the English language;
(3) advanced statistical knowledge, with experience in both SPSS and AMOS.
Preference for researchers with scientific experience:
(1) in topics related to aging;
(2) in experimental research methods.
Response to the announcement with the following documents, in one PDF file:
1. Synopsis of the Curriculum Vitae, highlighting:
(a) Academic qualifications, year and classifications (including certificates);
(b) List of the main scientific publications (up to 6 publications);
(c) Orcid Identifier;
(e) Research Fellowships;
(f) Collaborations in funded research projects.
2. Signed Complete Curriculum Vitae;
3. Letter in which the candidate, after analyzing the attached project (Annex 1) and based on the data collected in the study, proposes and frames in the literature a research question that will develop in an article (maximum 500 words, in English).
The selection process involves a first phase of documental analysis (90%) and a second phase of interview (10%).
Responses to the announcement until March 15
to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Annex 1: Abstract of the Project “Experimental Study of the Effects of Group Singing in the Well-Being, Cognitive Function, and Health of Older Adults.”
Background: Singing is a multimodal activity that requires physical, cognitive and psychosocial performance. It has the potential to improve the health of older adults in various dimensions and to promote active aging and independence. Previous studies suggest that singing is beneficial to the well-being of older adults, but the specific factors responsible for these benefits remain uncertain, as most of the studies do not analyze causal inferences. The present study responds to the need for further experimental studies with control group and follow-up measurement for the analysis of the causal effects of group singing on well-being, cognitive function and health in old age, with a higher validity of the research results.
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The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS)
P.O. Box 118
Gilbert, AZ 85299