The book consists of four parts.
The first describes the background of the theory and its development over the past years. It explains one of the methodological aspects of the theory: the construction and application of social quality indicators. Based on the outcomes of analyses of societal circumstances with help of these indicators this part focuses on empirical studies in the light of other comparable approaches. What are the consequences of the outcomes for the new elaboration of the social quality theory?
The second part presents an overview of ‘social quality conditions’ in different countries: The United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Hungary. Slovenia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Mainland China.
The third part is dedicated to the analysis of the ‘social quality conditions’ in different countries. It concerns income distribution and social justice, the nature of discussions on European welfare systems, lessons of the East Asian development and sustainable growth according the social quality perspective etc. Furthermore, this part is dedicated to the institutional barriers that undermine the improvement of social quality. Finally the social quality approach – its theory, methodology and policy application – is used for analysing the nature of the development of societal aspects of Mainland China concerning its socio-economic security, its democracy, the role of the civil society and a human-centred development.
The fourth part is dedicated to the exploration of new ways for social quality research. Important points here are a global development for deepening the nature of social quality in, e.g. the European Region, the future of the Chinese society, the new vision of social quality development and human happiness in many different countries. This part will be complemented with the extension of the scope of social quality research, e.g. to imagine a ‘quality of life-social quality’ prospective.
This book is not only restricted to the explanation of the basic concepts of social quality but is also dedicated to the analysis of social quality conditions in many countries. It is completed with a conclusion of this comparative analysis. The purpose of the book is to deliver a point of departure for better understanding the social quality theory and the features of its methodology in order to understand societal changes.