Quality of life: a reappraisal

Maria Cristina Sousa Gomes (Department of Social, Legal and Political Sciences, Universidade de Aveiro, SACSJP, Aveiro, Portugal)
Maria Luís Rocha Pinto (Department of Social, Legal and Political Sciences, Universidade de Aveiro, SACSJP, Aveiro, Portugal)
Gabriela Gomes dos Santos (Department of Social, Legal and Political Sciences, Universidade de Aveiro, SACSJP, Aveiro, Portugal)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 7 September 2010

Abstract

Purpose

With this reappraisal, the purpose of this paper is to present a reflexion on and discussion of the concept of quality of life (QL) with the intention of delimiting its meaning and application within the scope of the research project entitled “Costs and benefits of urban dispersion on a local scale”.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of QL contains a significant degree of complexity and multidimensional variables, in addition to the dynamic nature inherent in all social phenomena. The application of this concept at a local level and within the context of the Portuguese socio‐territorial reality requires rethinking the concept through the different authors and approaches, in order to delineate the research process, and guarantee its operationalisation, selecting the social indicators than can serve this purpose, with the intent of gaining a clearer understanding of QL as perceived and evaluated by the people and groups living in various dispersed urban areas.

Findings

From the readings of literature in the field, one can understand the importance of choosing the relevant domains when analysing and measuring QL. As with the choice of indicators, in order to be able to measure the QL, simultaneously, at a local level, the choice of indicators and the delimitation of units of analysis are also fundamental in order to be able to obtain the comparison and real measure of quality of life and not the contingencies of specific contextual characteristics.

Originality/value

The study aims to open a new research perspective in the field of social sciences, more specifically in the areas related to QL and urban dispersion.

Keywords

Citation

Sousa Gomes, M., Luís Rocha Pinto, M. and Gomes dos Santos, G. (2010), "Quality of life: a reappraisal", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 30 No. 9/10, pp. 559-580. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443331011072307

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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