World Suffering and Quality of Life

Social Indicators Research Series

Book 56
Springer
Free sample

This is the first book tackling the topic of world suffering. It compiles in one place the ideas, perspectives, and findings of researchers from around the world who pioneered research-based understanding of human suffering. Some chapters use the paradigm of ‘quality of life’ to explore ways to enhance knowledge on suffering. Other chapters show how concepts and knowledge from suffering research can benefit studies on quality of life.

By bringing together in one volume, ideas and research experience from the best minds and leading researchers in the fields of pain, suffering, poverty, deprivation, disability and quality of life (including well-being and happiness), this volume advances social science solutions to a number of major threads of research, most notably suffering. As a whole, the volume advances the fields of suffering and deprivation by suggesting a working typology of suffering and by pointing out the major paradigms for relief of suffering, such as humanitarianism, human rights, caring, and healing. This volume provides a wealth of insights about the interaction between suffering and quality of life, the most up-to-date characterization of worldwide suffering, and a grasp of the implications of these data for local and global policy on health and social well-being.

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About the author

Ronald (Ron) E. Anderson is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. His legacy includes seven books, over 100 articles, 150 presentations at professional meetings, 15 large research grants, and at least 40 consulting positions. Most of his work has related to technology applications or impact and he was the first Chair of the ASA microcomputer group that later changed its name to CITASA. In 2009, he established the Foundation for Compassionate Societies, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, its principle mission being to foster compassion around the world and to maintain the website CompassionateSocieties.org. For two decades, he coordinated research on information technology in K-12 education in over 25 countries. Dr. Anderson, as the United States National Research Coordinator for the IEA Computers in Education study, secured a large grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct that assessment in 1992. With Henry Becker, he received funding for the "Teaching, Learning and Computing" which included a nationwide survey of K-12 schools and teachers in 1998. Professor Anderson served on the International Steering Committee for the IEA computer and technology studies from 1990 to 2007, co-chairing it for half that time. Dr. Anderson was invited to give numerous presentations on national as well as international aspects of these international technology studies. Many of these presentations were to the National Academy of Sciences Board on Com

parative International Studies in Education. He and three colleagues compiled a landmark compendium of technology policy and practices for 37 leading countries: Plomp, T., Anderson, R. E., Law, N., and Quale, A., Editors, Cross-National Information and Communication Technology – Policies and Practices in Education. Greenwich, CT, USA: Information Age Publishing, 2009 (Revised 2nd edition). In addition, he was co-author with Hans Pelgrum of the book coming out of the IEA SITES Module 1 study entitled ICT and the Emerging Paradigm for Life Long Learning: A Worldwide Educational Assessment of Infrastructure, Goals and Practices. (Amsterdam: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, 2001). Since retiring from the University of Minnesota in 2005, he published several articles on gender and technology in encyclopedias and handbooks. In 2012, he published two articles, one on the development of a microsimulation model to study college student retention and the other, a study of the network structure of websites devoted to caring, compassion, and disaster relief. Since 2009, he has given numerous lectures and presentations on measuring worldwide compassion and suffering and on the nature of world suffering.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Feb 4, 2015
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Pages
439
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ISBN
9789401796705
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Public Health
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Policy
Social Science / General
Social Science / Research
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In the United States, work is the key to economic success, as well as the major source of health care coverage and retirement security. While Europeans look to the State for these benefits, Americans for the most part do not. This system of employment-based benefits means that those disadvantaged in the labor market are also disadvantaged in terms of health care coverage and retirement security.

The authors of this work examine the overrepresentation of Mexican Americans in low wage or service sector jobs, which rarely come with health insurance or retirement coverage. At all ages, Mexican Americans have lower rates of health insurance and retirement coverage than do other minority groups, such as African Americans or other Hispanic groups. Although employment in jobs that do not provide benefits is one major source of this disparity, other factors—including immigration history, citizenship status, and language proficiency—further block opportunities for upward mobility within the Mexican American population.

In their analysis, the authors work to deemphasize the popular, cultural explanation for the economic disparities and focus on more practical, policy-based solutions. In each chapter, the authors identify and critique the factors that affect the economic security and health care access of individuals throughout the life course, suggesting policies for reform.

This work will be of interest to anyone working in the fields of cultural studies, public health and the sociology of work. With the focus on real world causes for the problems as well as potential solutions, policy-makers will also find this informative book an essential resource.

The new millennium is widely considered to be the age of globalisation, democratisation, and human rights. We live in a knowledge society and in a time of risk and uncertainty. It is the interplay of these key trends of the era that call for a fresh approach to quality of life studies to inform policy makers and development practitioners. This book addresses the key challenges life research that relate to the characteristics of the new millennium such as increased risks, rapid worldwide democratisation of societies, loss of bio- and cultural diversity, rapid erosion of natural resources and climate change, and global connectivity that accelerates the transmission of disease as well as knowledge.

Quality of life (QOL) research has made great strides since the social indicator movement started as a scientific enterprise in the 1960s. Researchers from many different scientific disciplines are now engaged in describing and evaluating the human condition in many different parts of the world. Although QOL researchers are better equipped both theoretically and practically than in the past, the new era poses new challenges for them. One such challenge relates to the very definition of the subject under study. The notion of the good life that has intrigued classical Greek is fluid and popular conceptions of the good life have shifted over time. The speed with which societies worldwide are changing in the new millennium is breathtaking. It is possible that the vision of the good life has shifted dramatically over the forty years since the social indicator movement began.

Democracy is currently the political system of choice in the new millennium or is at least considered the best possible system of governance invented to date. The emergent democracies in the Second and Third World have joined the ranks of the older democracies of the First World. One of the important roles of QOL researchers is to engage citizens in assessing their life circumstances relative to their own conception of the good life.

Quality of life studies play an important role in guiding social policy. In democracies citizens are able to hold their governments accountable for pursuing the policies and making the interventions that will make the greatest improvements for the greatest number. There are moral and political issues related to the proper role of governments in providing the good life and public goods. This volume addresses the issue of how governments should intervene to shape the good life for their citizens. This is a pertinent question for quality-of-life scholars in all corners of the earth in the new millennium.

This volume presents a state of the art coverage of the measurement and evolution of mortality over time. It describes in great detail the changes in the cause patterns of mortality, the changes in mortality patterns at different ages, and specific analyses of mortality in particular countries. Derived from a meeting of the European Working Group on Health, Morbidity and Mortality held at the Vienna Institute of Demography, September 2011, it presents a cross-section of the work and concerns of mortality researchers across Europe, ranging from London and Madrid in the west to Moscow in the east, with a few additions from further afield. Although most of the papers focus on a particular population, the range of the papers is broad; taken together they present an inter-disciplinary cross-section of this multi-faceted field. Coverage includes estimating life expectancy in small areas, with an application to recent changes in US counties; socioeconomic determinants of mortality in Europe using the latest available data and short-term forecasts; predicting mortality from profiles of biological risk and performance measures of functioning; infant mortality measurement and rate of progress on international commitment using evidence from Argentina; avoidable factors contributing to maternal deaths in Turkey; changes in mortality at older ages: the case of Spain (1975- 2006); variable scales of avoidable mortality within the Russian population; long-term mortality decline in East Asia, and much more. Perspectives in Mortality Research will serve as a valuable resource for professionals and students in sociology, demography, public health and personal finance.
Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction

Named on Slate's 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years, Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015--Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar (Politico) Favorite Book of the Year--Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics (Bloomberg/WSJ) Best Books of 2015--Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky (WSJ) Books of the Year--Slate.com's 10 Best Books of 2015--Entertainment Weekly's 10 Best Books of 2015 --Buzzfeed's 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015--The Daily Beast's Best Big Idea Books of 2015--Seattle Times' Best Books of 2015--Boston Globe's Best Books of 2015--St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Best Books of 2015--The Guardian's The Best Book We Read All Year--Audible's Best Books of 2015--Texas Observer's Five Books We Loved in 2015--Chicago Public Library's Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America--addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland.

With a great reporter's narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive--extremely addictive--miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel--assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico.

Introducing a memorable cast of characters--pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents--Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.
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