Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

European Social Quality Theory and the Life Quality Theory

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

European Social Quality Theory and the Life Quality Theory

Article excerpt


The main objective of this work is to study the differences between the two concepts: the concept of social quality and the concept of life quality. The first was originated in Europe in the second half of the XX century and is not known to the domestic sociology. However, in the course of study in this paper of the principles of its construction and its content we can find in the social quality theory many of the provisions that are useful for domestic science. At the moment, in Russian society there are many unresolved problems, and possibly the use of experience of European sociology would contribute to the improvement of methods of the domestic sociology and achievement of positive results. On the one hand, it is very important to identify the differences in the theoretical underpinnings of the two above-mentioned concepts, on the other hand, it is very important to understand their strengths and weaknesses, so that later to form your own position on the basis of this knowledge. The social quality concept is constructive for this work.


The Essence of the Social Quality Concept

The social quality concept is distinctive, first of all, for the European school of sociology, and it was originated there during the expert meetings within the framework of development of the European social policy in Amsterdam. The first meeting has taken place in 1991 and was devoted to the study of the transformation processes in Europe, and the consequences of this process for senior citizens. At the next meeting in 1993 the problem of social inequality among EU senior citizens has been discussed. The two documents have become the product of these meetings, respectively: "Social Exclusion (an analogue of the domestic concept of "marginalization")" and "Ageing". Both of these studies came to the same conclusion: the balance of economic and social policies is uneven, as goals of the first define the content of the second. These discoveries were considered to be the main causes of the crisis of social policy in Europe (Beck W., van der Masesn L., Walker A., 1998).

The Netherlands became the first who began to use the idea of social quality in practice Ministry of health, social security and sports recognized this idea as a guiding principle of its work. Gradually, over the next few years, European policy actively used the term to indicate the direction of development of their states. Thus, the term "social quality" was adopted by the EU as a key term to refer to the social policy in the region (Berger-Schmitt R., Neinz-Herbert N., 2000).

The social quality concept was to establish a balance between economic and social policies, as well as to review the objectives and the basis of the latter. Searching an idea which would be in harmony with the essence of the European model of development and to put the emphasis on social policy purposes (transfer of its direction from its narrow administrative to broad social forms) led to the emergence of the term "social quality" (European Commission Social Policy Agenda, 2000). Thus, the development of this term is the achievement of the EU member states. This concept is applied and serves as a guideline for states in the exercise of their administrative functions.

The term "social quality" was proposed as the standard multi-aspect standard which is wider than the well-known poverty figures and population marginalization level.

Social quality can be defined as follows: "This is a condition where citizens have an opportunity to participate in social and economic life of the society in order to increase their well-being and own powers" (Beck W., van der Maesen L. Thomese, F., Walker A., 2001).

To achieve an acceptable level of social quality, it is necessary that the following four conditions to be fulfilled. First, people should have access to social and economic benefits. These are employment, social protection and other public institutions to protect citizens. …

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