(Un)Happiness during Transition: Levels, Distribution and Determinants of Subjective Well-Being in Post-Socialist Countries

  • The social costs of transformation from socialism to capitalism gave rise to widespread discontent with the course of transition reforms, and the status anxiety, insecurity, and uncertainty in coping with the difficulties of everyday life that came along with the system change have pervaded people’s lives. Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life have appeared as dominant sentiments in post-socialist societies. This dissertation has investigated how (un)happiness in post-socialist countries has been influenced and structured in post-communist countries by using a longitudinal comparative perspective. The present study set out (1) to describe and monitor the distribution of subjective well-being during the course of market transformation and to explain the macro-level determinants of happiness inequality across post-communist countries; (2) to shed new light on the social cost of market transformation through suggesting life satisfaction as an alternative tool to examine the dynamic and complex structure of distribution of well-being among different socio-economic groups, thereby overcoming the limitations of using the dichotomy of ‘winners and losers’; (3) to understand the relationship between transition legitimacy, i.e. attitudes towards economic and political liberalization, and people’s subjective well-being in post-socialist countries. This dissertation followed a quantitative cross-national comparative research design, using secondary data sets including cross-national survey data and databases for economic, political, and social development indicators which cover approximately three decades of market transition. The six waves of the World Values Survey (WVS) and European Values Study (EVS) (1982 - 2014), and two waves of the Life in Transition Survey (LiTS) (2006 and 2010), were used as the main data source for the empirical studies.

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Meta data
Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Hilal Arslan
Referee:Franziska Deutsch, Jan Delhey, Christian Welzel, Christopher S. Swader, Jakob Fruchtmann
Advisor:Jan Delhey
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1009190
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2007/05/30
Date of First Publication:2020/06/12
Academic Department:Social Sciences & Humanities
PhD Degree:Sociology
Focus Area:Diversity
Other Countries Involved:Sweden
Call No:2017/56

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