The idea of common well-being suggests the dissolution of the state’s monopoly in social welfare for the benefit of a human being. This idea is universal as it is commonly inherent to the ideology of civilisation of all nations participating in the global historical process. The foundation is a civil society where the idea of well-being dominates. Therefore, the purpose of the study is interpretation of well-being in the context of quality management. In the article the challenges of the content and main components of a state of person's wellbeing in society, its characteristic features are considered. Authors pay attention to multidimensionality of the concept of "wellbeing". They offer to solve this problem by the integrated approach considering the problem of person's wellbeing in context of theoretical and empirical constructs. The main aim of the study: to analyze a place of an art discourse in social space. The methods used in the study: methods of the analysis, analogy. They offer to solve this problem by the integrated approach considering the problem of person's wellbeing in context of theoretical and empirical constructs.
The meaning of “well-being” can be interpreted as a synonym of “good” in its narrow sense. “Good” is one of the main axiological categories meaning that people’s needs, expectations and desires are satisfied provided they share the same aspirations. The phenomenon of the good has been concurrently shaping with the formation of the tribal community as its unconsciously supportive and intuitively satisfying function. Transition to civilisation had necessarily led to the perception of the good as a fundamental, sole and the only universal foundation. The heterogeneity of social and personal interests, the multitude of sociocultural orientations of individuals and a substantially changing order of their mentality are maintained.
In real life the good has lost its unique place and has been interpreted through the evil, its antipode. The meaning of the good has developed at the turning points of historical epochs as the purpose of human aspirations. Modern philosophy has discovered precisely this meaning. In contemporary era accents have been shifting towards main definitions of human being and their cognition. The essence of the good has been associated with the future as it relates to the material well-being of the people.
Questions of the substance and nature of well-being as well as its component, the idea of justice, will be examined in the study.
Purpose of the study
The fulfillment of the idea of justice as the well-being’s component becomes possible not in the developed law-bound state, where the effectiveness of mechanisms of the legislative protection of human rights is assured. Therefore, the purpose of the research is interpretation of the well-being in the discourse of philosophical methodology.
The problem of well-being within the framework of quality management
The defense mechanisms of human and society’s well-being lie in the existing socio-psychological, political and economic space. These mechanisms are not fully functioning in the situation of moral degradation, social cataclysms, national antagonisms and economic stagnation. The situation of political stability of the society is needed for their realisation. However, the limits of society’s self-regulation cannot be overestimated, as the free society does not possess universal mechanisms of self-regulation. Only the self-regulation could make the ultimate minimisation of the state possible.
The activity of social and law-bound state is related to the social services: social protection and social welfare, healthcare and education, workplace health and safety and employment security, government support of science and art, attainment of well-being. Transitional society ensures the protection of human rights and realisation of human’s well-being in the society.
In the civil society a sovereign individual obtains a true status of a citizen and becomes a genuine subject of the society. The idea of personal freedom becomes dominant. The civil sovereignty of an individual, meaning the broadening of rights and personal freedom, and access to social welfare signify the formation of the principles of law-bound state, civil society and the society of social well-being of all people.
“Strong law-bound state” where human capital investments dominate is the requirement for the realisation of the idea of well-being and justice. At the same time the principle of solidarity is implied in this social state. Solidarity means equitable distribution, aspiration for improvement of living conditions, social services, support of the public sector including education, healthcare, housing, and the development of the means of communication (R.B. Kvesko, & al., 2014).
Social welfare and social insurance, affirmative actions towards needy and vulnerable social groups are utterly important to ensure the well-being, social solidarity, mutual responsibility, prosperity of members of the civil society and the development of social services. Conceptual framework presumes self-organisation and structured civil society aiming to achieve the well-being of all citizens.
The well-being’s attainment is associated with the subsidiary society in which the social welfare excludes social risks. The normative foundation of the civilised state in the civil subsidiary society is the existence of social conditions allowing every citizen to freely use their rights (R.B. Kvesko, & al., 2014).
Methodological principals of institutional analysis as they apply to the issue of well-beingare specified by the principles of management of the quality of life. Within this framework, the goodis ideated as the existence in the scope of well-being and in the context of sociocultural aspect of the society’s development. The modern industrial civilisation is a sociocultural space that has been thoroughly influenced by creative human approach (D. Bell, 1973). The growth of the quantity and variety of technology has led to the changes in style, rhythm and the substance of human life and, because of this, the understanding of wellbeing.
The global influence of technology has a positive effect, leads to labour-saving and the increase of comfort in a daily life. However, it harbours a threat to people’s existence on earth, pollutes environment, affects psychological and physiological dimensions of human organism, and creates social, political, demographic, sociocultural problems. Hence, the understanding of well-being often carries a technophobic nature.
The role of sociocultural evaluation of any important project rises in the information and nonlinear developing society. The scale and the speed of human’s influence on the environment are high. Therefore, uncontrolled activity or decision-making in favour of a small group of people or a single corporation without taking a long-term outlook and global consequences into consideration can lead to social conflicts and even catastrophes. When making socially significant decisions, it is important to consider all possible consequences of the project, factors determining the flow of processes in this or that direction, various implementation scenarios depending on contingencies. Responsible decision-making in the situation of uncertainty and the multitude of risk-bearing scenarios of process development attributable to the information society becomes unfea sible without the knowledge and the experience of advisory experts. The expert is not merely a specialist able to adequately apply an appropriate solution algorithm, but a professional capable of seeing the big picture of decision-making situation and unfolding it in front of others.
The sociocultural evaluation gains a special importance in a modern technology and information dense society. The sociocultural evaluation ascertains a probable effect of a studied event or decision being made on people’s life, their physical and psychological state, social relations and value system. And vi se versa, it determines the impact of cultural features as well as diverse social factors on the implementation of forethought projects. The objective of socio-humanitarian evaluation is the explication of aspects of a case and risks related to different scenarios. It demands increased requirements to the personality of an expert, his or her education, professional skills and experience, sociocultural competence.
The role of socio-humanitarian evaluation in a sociotechnical decision-making, that is engineering, design, distribution, introduction and operation of new forms of technology is very important in a technology-rich society. The understanding of unfeasibility to continue an uncontrolled and unregulated technological expansion dictate sa need to establish the public assessment system in the field of engineering design and technological development.
Modern human being needs to be equipped in the field of evaluation of sociocultural consequences of his own professional and everyday activity. This requires the formation of a new concept of education and upbringing, comprehension of sociocultural foundation and meaning of technology. Modern education in a modern society should use the opportunities of socio-humanitarian sciences for the formation of a large-scale thinking familiar with the strategies of survival of the humanity, and the establishment of well-being as a condition for a comfortable human life and work.
Philosophy and sociology of science, engineering and technology could assist in comprehending the ultimate meaning of society’s development: technological progress is not the aim, but the means of improvement of human life. Its object is not merely to change the environment, but its improvement in the interests of human life and health, the formation of well-being of people and the actualisation of people’s understanding of well-being as a condition of an active stand in life.
An individual cannot be indifferent towards extensive consequences of his activity including the change of nature, society and human being. The socio-humanitarian component of a modern education becomes not only an addition to the physical and technical knowledge, but a constituent of fundamental schooling. The understanding of sociocultural meanings of technology would allow avoiding extremes of narrow utilitarian praise of technology as an absolute embodiment of social progress, as well as an excessive suspiciousness towards potential destructive effect on culture.
The widespread usage of technology has changed all kinds of labour, as well as the human’s mentality and somatics. People cannot imagine their further existence without increased comfort and well-being, decrease of physical activity and the intellectualisation of labour, advanced means of communication and relaxation, which involves continuous technological development. Discussions about the necessity of limiting the needs, reduction of impact on biosphere by means of “deintensification” of economy appear to be absolutely outdated and unrealisable (A. Giddens, 2000). Present economy is the economy of spending, continuous generation and rampant satisfaction of needs (consumerism). In the last two-three centuries, changing structures of everyday life have practically replaced or made irrelevant asceticism and self-restriction, solidarity and altruism, saving and limiting the needs.
Expert evaluations performed at the knowledge level appear to be ineffective. The change of human behaviour, people’s attitude towards each other, the nature, and technology are generally out of the discourse. These modifications involve the transformation of structures of everyday life. The crucial role should belong to a particular research and development activity of an individual.
Mobilisation and control of processes of human activity at the level of appeals, orders, and ideological superstructures appear to be ineffective in the information society. Any new order realises in the field of unwritten rules that are formed at the level of everyday life. In the past, this field was entirely constructed by traditions and ancestors’ experience, and it was only possible to disconnect a human being from the field under compulsion, threat of punishment or violence. Later, social management has relied on a shaping inner world of a subject and his emotional worries, stimulated and restricted his behaviour by means of moral obligation, religious dogmas, self-control and self-discipline (J.L Cohen, 1985).
Though, self-restriction and self-control have stopped been cultivated at an individual level, channels of information have undertook the functions of human behaviour control, convinced the human being softly and subtly, although firmly and inexorably towards certain activities. The role of information, knowledge as well as their reliable carriers rises in these conditions. The discipline, where the public knowledge becomes the condition of behavior strategy choice, nominates all types of experts, consultants and advisers as the controlling beginning of knowledge carriers, who make recommendations to politicians, entrepreneurs and all citizens. Thus, experts emerge as a new form of power and control in a modern world, which is positive, not repressive as the ones mentioned above, and does not exhort and intimidate, but persuades and suggests a rational way of life improvement. In a modern society of technological rationality the management (power) is exercised by assessors, who do not parade themselves and often remain invisible and unnamed. However, they influence people and convince them anonymously and unnoticeably, though effectively and consistently through the media.
Experts produce knowledge, on which the modern order relies, people use their recommendations for the arrangement of everyday and professional activity. Evaluation shows itself through plenty of positions, diversity of viewpoints and freedom of speech. It creates a special social space where there are no single true opinion and generally accepted rules, but there exist a variety of positions and solution methods. It is characteristic of the situation of postmodernism. Nowadays the evaluation functions in one or another professional field can be performed by a specialist, since he is not laying a claim to the universality of his position, but represents his opinion along with others and respects contrary viewpoints (R.B. Kvesko, S.B. Kvesko,& M.E. Snitko, 2015). He cannot consider himself expert and a carrier of absolute knowledge, but merely a representative of a certain school of thought and the carrier of one or another level of professional capacity. He cannot dream of the people’s acceptance of the authority of his position, but of people’s willingness and desire to take into consideration his viewpoint.
Modern style of sociocultural regulation implies the existence of diverse forms of knowledge and stimulates independent selection by an individual of one or another everyday or professional strategy. Public opinion, social prestige and inner freedom become the coordinators of this choice. The role of an expert knowledge gains significance in these conditions and offers to an active subject the most desirable culture-conserving strategy of behaviour.
In the course of research the authors have made certain findings upholding the results of the study:
The problem of well-being can be solved in the context of solving of current vital issues of a modern society.
The well-being is a social phenomenon, which is associated with the satisfaction of social needs and interests of citizens by means of creation and development of comfortable conditions of workplace and everyday life.
Based on the application of socio-humanitarian evaluation and expert opinion of not only specialists, but ordinary citizens, a crucial role of technology in the society’s development can be drawn. The formation of the greatest human well-being is feasible in the event of human’s mentality change towards the development of techno-hobbic attitude to the technology and the release of technophobic mood. Only the formation of a high quality of life allows creation of such comfortable conditions, which do not merely ensure the material well-being, but form spiritual basis of personality development.
Research goes within the solution of questions of social policy.
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17 January 2017
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Social welfare, social services, personal health, public health
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Kvesko, . B., Kornienko, A. A., Chaplinskaya, Y. I., Nikitina, Y. A., & Chigulina, E. (2017). The Problem of Wellbeing Within the Framework of Quality Management. In F. Casati, G. А. Barysheva, & W. Krieger (Eds.), Lifelong Wellbeing in the World - WELLSO 2016, vol 19. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 424-429). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.01.57