tjir4-4b - Social Quality opening individual well-being for...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.4, No.4, Winter 2005 16 Social Quality – opening individual well-being for a social perspective Peter Herrmann i/ii Ní haon maith a bheith ag caoineadh nuair a imíonn an tsochraid 1 Point of departure is the thesis that a clear understanding of the social vanished from social science itself. Over time, the interpretation of social and individual developed into a direction that confronts the two as distinct areas, relating as mutually external «faits sociaux» on the one hand and «faits individuels» on the other hand. Moreover, individuals are seen as the actual «core» of life, confronted with a society which is a seemingly superior power. The following presentation tries to oppose such a position, claiming that individual and social can fundamentally be grasped as constitutive entity. Furthermore, it is by taking such a relational view that we can understand the social – and its quality – as distinct from simple interactions. This contribution will first aim on providing a framework for the analysis and development of policies – following the Social Quality Approach which will be introduced. In a second part this will be further developed, looking at what is underlying the process of negotiating the social. Finally, the current debate of the European Social Model will be discussed against this theoretical background. The Analytical Dimension: the Debate of Well-Being versus Social Quality – the Meaning of the Social Challenges set by Setting «Well-being and Social Justice» as core for Social Policy A major issue of today’s social science is the concern by issues of life styles and life situations, well-being, quality of life etc. And of course, there cannot be any doubt about the importance of such apprehension as it is finally the individual – as citizen with full rights or as person who is excluded from mainstream society – who is at the centre stage of social policy. It is the individual who is shaping by his/her demands, needs and political activities and inactivities alike actual social policies – and it is as well the individual who is meant to be «target» of any measures. However, life styles, living situations and life circumstances and well-being are highly individualist concepts. This is even true if we agree that they are admittedly concerned with the localisation of the individual in a «context of other people(‘s action)». The unanswered challenge is that the social is not only normatively assumed. In addition, it is indirectly defined as an external entity, not needing a clear definition or actually being constituted as part of this process.
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.4, No.4, Winter 2005 17 It is neglected that individual and society are not in contradistinction. Norbert Elias pointed on this, using the words: To understand the obstruction which the predominant modes of thinking and feeling pose to the
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Wormer during the Fall '08 term at Boise State.

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tjir4-4b - Social Quality opening individual well-being for...

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