9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN26 Sociology of Social Policy

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Comparing European Welfare Regimes Building II, Auditório C1.04

The quality of life in Portugal in the European context: main patterns and social determinants

In this paper, we'll be characterizing the main quality of life patterns in Portugal. The way Portuguese citizens evaluate their living conditions and family and work lives will take centre stage in the analysis, as well as the social and cultural determinants that shape those patterns. Special attention will be given to the country's place, understood as a specific welfare regime, in the European context.
In more analytical terms, the focus will be placed on the connections existing between societal structures of constraint and opportunity and family and work contexts that frame the everyday life of individuals. Understanding those connections is crucial if we want to have an insight into the social and cultural determinants of the quality of life and well-being of European citizens.
Quantitative data gathered in a number of comparative European projects will be used in this paper. A general characterization of the Portuguese situation in Europe regarding quality of life will be made using existing data from the European Social Survey (ESS 2002) and from the first European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS 2003).
More in depth analyses of the quality of work and family life will be carried out using quantitative data gathered in the Quality of Life in a Changing Europe Project. This innovative project has the general aim to map out and understand the well-being and quality of life patterns of European workers in the service sector. Eight countries are involved in this project: The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Portugal, Hungary and Bulgaria. In each country, a survey was carried out in four companies: telecommunications, banking/insurance, retail and a hospital. A total of 7869 questionnaires was gathered in the eight countries (1373 in Portugal).
This diversity of welfare regimes, of social policies and of economic and cultural features is most useful in the construction of a comparative analysis, and is also very important to help further our understanding of the factors that lie behind the levels of well-being of Portuguese workers in the European context.