Multiple dimensions of the good life: introducing international and interdisciplinary perspectives
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.
If relative deprivation matters to welfare in poor countries as much as it apparently does in rich ones then one would have to question the priority given to economic growth over redistribution in current development policies. We look for evidence in one of the world's poorest countries, Malawi. Using new survey questions that help address likely biases in past tests, we find that relative deprivation is not the dominant concern for most of our sample, although it is for the comparatively well off, including in urban areas. Our results strengthen the welfarist case for a policy focus on absolute levels of living in poor countries. The pattern of externalities suggests that there will be too much poverty and inequality from the point of view of aggregate efficiency.
Positive Psychology has become a major approach to the scientific study of individual, social, community and cultural processes. This book includes a selection of papers presented at the 3rd European Conference on Positive Psychology, organized in Braga at the University of Minho, Portugal in 2006. The title of the book reflects its main purpose and a main concern for positive psychology - Understanding Positive Life - balanced between the two scientific pillars, the research and the practice. Several contributions concerning theory, research and practice are presented in three different parts: Happiness, Well-being and Life Satisfaction (Part I); Performance, Coping and Quality of life (Part II); and assessment, Intervention and Practice for a Positive Life (Part III). Each part includes eight chapters, with a great diversity of authors coming from different countries.
The article is devoted to interaction of economics and ethics in historical and modern aspects. Historically the liberation of economics from moral categories is considered in three ways: as a search of "natural" lawes in 1) functioning of means, 2) description of economic environment and 3) behavior. On the other hand, ethical significance of such economic notions as choice, purposes, welfare is revealed. Finally, some attempts of modern economists and methodologists to extend the concept of economic rationality in ethical perspective are discussed.
Can self-assessments of health reveal the true health differentials between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’? The potential sources of bias include psychological adaptation to ill-health, socioeconomic covariates of health reporting errors and income measurement errors. We propose an estimation method to reduce the bias by isolating the component of self-assessed health that is explicable in terms of objective health indicators and allowing for broader dimensions of economic welfare than captured by current incomes. On applying our method to survey data for Russia we find a pronounced (nonlinear) economic gradient in health status that is not evident in the raw data. This is largely attributable to the health effects of age, education and location.
The volume presents a new and unique view of welfare in Russia and Eastern European countries from an intersectional perspective of welfare, gender and agency. Since the collapse of socialism, the welfare structures of the post-socialist states have experienced large and rapid changes. The discussions on the reforming welfare models serve as the integrating theme for the volume. The authors discuss past and current developments and make comparisons in time and space between the early 1990s and late 2000s and between post-socialist and transitional countries. Welfare and political democratization are analyzed on the one hand as structures and processes and on the other hand as cultural meanings and through agency, which all are strongly gendered. Macro-level analyses and in-depth case studies by scholars from different countries and disciplines provide a wide and multilayered picture of welfare developments and gendered practices of social services, caregiving and civic activism, among others. Special attention is given to research methodologies, particularly on fieldwork and micro-level understanding of the related topics. The contributors come from social and political sciences and from both former socialist and 'Western' countries from Russia and Slovenia as well as the US, the UK, Germany and Finland.
Apart from the public sphere and the norms set by society, the private sphere plays an important role in the lives of the disabled, including the personal experience of disability at a micro level: in their families, everyday routines and romantic relationships. In this chapter, issues of family structure are considered using a narrative analysis of interviews with women who use wheelchairs. Various cultural, social, economic and political determinants effect the formation of certain types of family structure and attitudes towards family life. At the same time, they interrelate with biographical factors that reinforce or weaken the limits of freedom and private life. Using narrative analysis, I demonstrate what role family plays in constructing the identity of a person with a disability, and how family members act as coauthors of individual biographies. This can be seen in those dilemmas of family life associated with the feelings, sexuality and emotional stability at the micro-level of the life experience and identification of women with disabilities.
Does "empowerment" come hand-in-hand with higher economic welfare? In theory, higher income is likely to raise both power and welfare, but heterogeneity in other characteristics can either strengthen or weaken the relationship. Survey data on Russian adults indicate that higher individual and household incomes raise both self-rated power and economic welfare. The individual income effect is primarily direct, rather than through higher household income. There are diminishing returns to income, though income inequality emerges as only a minor factor reducing either aggregate power or welfare. At given income, the identified covariates have strikingly similar effects on power and economic welfare.Income
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.