The Ethical Imperative of Qualitative Methods: Developing Measures of Subjective Dimensions of Well-Being in Zambia and India

S C White, Shreya Jha

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Abstract

Well-being advocates state that it provides a more holistic, humanistic focus for public policy. Paradoxically, however, well-being debates tend to be dominated by highly quantitative, de-contextualised statistical methods accessible to only a minority of technical experts. This paper argues the need to reverse this trend. Drawing on original primary mixed method research in Zambia and India it shows the critical contribution of qualitative methods to the development of a quantitative model of subjective perspectives on well-being. Such contributions have a political, ethical and practical urgency if subjective measures of well-being are to be used in policy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthics and Social Welfare
Volume8
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • subjective wellbeing
  • Mixed methods
  • qualitative methods
  • India
  • Zambia
  • cross-cultural

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  • Projects

    Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways

    White, S.

    Economic and Social Research Council

    1/08/1030/04/14

    Project: Research council

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