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  • 1.
    Fors, Filip
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Kulin, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Bringing Affect Back In: Measuring and Comparing Subjective Well-being across Countries2016In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921, Vol. 127, no 1, p. 323-339Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, researchers and policymakers have paid increasing attention to cross-country comparisons of subjective well-being. Whereas classical theories of quality of life emphasize the central role of affective well-being (i.e., whether a person feels good or bad), previous comparative studies have focused almost exclusively on life satisfaction (i.e., cognitive evaluations of life). This study brings affect into the comparative study of subjective well-being, constructing a new measurement instrument that captures both the affective and cognitive dimensions of subjective well-being. Using European Social Survey data and multi-group confirmatory factor analysis, we estimate latent country means for the two dimensions and compare country rankings across the two measures. The results reveal important differences in country rankings depending on whether one focuses on affective well-being or life satisfaction. We identify crucial differences among top-ranking countries and, perhaps even more importantly, considerable differences in rankings among more moderately ranking countries. In a second step, we compare and evaluate the single-item measures commonly used in previous research with the results based on our new measures. We conclude by discussing our results in relation to previous studies, and in terms of their possible implications for future research and for policymakers bent on improving national levels of subjective well-being. 

  • 2.
    Kulin, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Public support for redistributive strategies: The impact of personal values and institutional normsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Kulin, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Values and attitudes towards redistribution: The impact of basic human values on support for welfare state redistribution in comparative perspectiveManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Kulin, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Values and welfare state attitudes: The interplay between human values, attitudes and redistributive institutions across national contexts2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    While there is much research aiming to assess the determinants of welfare state attitudes, there are not many studies focussing on how human values influence attitude formation. This thesis explores the relationship between values and welfare state attitudes across national contexts. In doing so, it focuses on the moderating influence of contextual factors on the values-attitudes link.

    In order to measure values properly, and to study their effects on welfare state attitudes, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and multi-group structural equation modelling (MGSEM) is used. These methods enable testing for measurement equivalence across groups, a prerequisite for comparing the effects of human values across countries. The individual-level data used in this thesis comes from the European Social Survey (ESS) between 2002-08.

    The findings show that values can play an important role in welfare state attitude formation, but that the impact of values on attitudes differs considerably across national contexts. Several country-specific contextual factors such as the generosity of redistributive institutions, their framing and their distributive outcomes moderates the values-attitudes link. In more generous welfare states and where redistributive issues are more articulated in the political debate, the impact of, for instance, egalitarian values on redistributive attitudes is comparably strong. Moreover, in countries where lower social classes are more exposed to risks and lack resources to meet these risks, class differences in the values-attitudes link are greater. Finally, the results show that the particular values that underlie welfare state attitudes in Eastern Europe are fundamentally different to those in Western Europe.

    The results imply that the impact of values on welfare state attitudes mainly depends on (i) whether people perceive welfare state institutions to have important consequences for the extent to which their values are attained, and (ii) the presence of competing motives. Hence, it is not necessarily the case that people who support the welfare state do so, for example, due to holding egalitarian values. In contrast to previous research, which has been quite unsuccessful in confirming direct relationships between institutions and attitudes, the results in this thesis suggest that there are indeed clear and consistent macro-micro relationships, but that these are more complex. Rather, it is in the interplay between values, attitudes and institutions that this relationship can be found. 

  • 5.
    Kulin, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Meuleman, Bart
    Centre for Sociological Research, University of Leuven.
    The values underlying public welfare state support in Europe: West and East comparedManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Kulin, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Seymer, Alexander
    University Salzburg Department of Sociology Rudolfskai 42 5010 Austria.
    What's Driving the Public? A Cross-Country Analysis of Political Attitudes, Human Values and Political Articulation2014In: Sociological research online, ISSN 1360-7804, E-ISSN 1360-7804, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 14-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study addresses how political attitudes are shaped across national contexts. It does so by investigating the influence of nation-specific political articulation and framing on the relationship between human values and political attitudes. Based on the literature, two attitude dimensions can be identified. First, the socioeconomic dimension captures the tension between economic equality and equity (rewarding achievements and effort). Second, the sociocultural dimension captures the tension between individual/civil liberties and traditions/conservative norms. Very few comparative studies systematically investigate the influence of a coherent structure of more basic and abstract motivations (values) on political attitudes. We fill this gap by examining the influence of basic human values on the socioeconomic and sociocultural attitude dimensions across national contexts. To investigate the impact of human values and political attitudes, individual-level data from the European Social Survey (ESS 2008) from 2008 are analyzed using multi-group structural equation modeling (MGSEM). Moreover, we also explore political discourse as a key contextual factor at the country level modifying the relationships between values and attitudes. Specifically, we use data from the Comparative Manifesto Project to investigate the moderating influence of political articulation, i.e., the articulation of socioeconomic and sociocultural issues in political party manifestos, on the relationship between values and political attitudes across countries. Results indicate substantial cross-national variation in the link between values and sociopolitical attitudes, and that this variation can be partly explained by the articulation of sociopolitical issues.

  • 7.
    Kulin, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Class, values, and attitudes towards redistribution: a European comparison2013In: European Sociological Review, ISSN 0266-7215, E-ISSN 1468-2672, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 155-167Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using data from the European Social Survey, we analyse the link between basic human values and attitudes towards redistribution, and how that link differs among classes and across countries. We assess whether and why the class-specific impact of self-transcendence and self-enhancement values on attitudes towards redistribution differs across a selection of European countries. The results show that the links between values and attitudes are generally stronger in more materially secure and privileged classes. However, the relative strength of the associations varies substantially across countries. Where inequality is smaller and poverty less prevalent, the link between values and attitudes becomes less class-specific. These findings provide support for our two main interpretations: (a) that welfare policies mitigate the class-specific risks that people are exposed to, which make values more salient and effective among workers; and (b) that the existence of visible and salient redistributive policies works to make clearer the cognitive link between abstract values and support for concrete policies.

  • 8.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Kulin, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Schnabel, Annette
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Age, Class, and Attitudes Towards Government Responsibilities2012In: Contested Welfare States : Welfare Attitudes in Europe and Beyond / [ed] Stefan Svallfors, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012, p. 158-192Chapter in book (Refereed)
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