Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP5

CHANGEQUAL: Economic Change, Unequal life Chances and Quality of Life, Final Report

Project ID: HPSE-CT-2002-50028
Funded under: FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL, FP6-CITIZENS

Abstract

A fundamental objective of the CHANGEQUAL Network was to provide an account of the current state of knowledge and the availability of appropriate data in the thematic areas on which the network focused. This exercise was also intended to lay the basis to provide practical guidelines to the steps necessary for future advancement in these related areas. Both of these exercises dealt with the following thematic areas.
1. Comparative Analysis of Intergenerational "Inheritance"
2. Income Inequality, Poverty and Deprivation.
3. Work and Employment
4. The Family
5. Social Cohesion.
Social cohesion arises as an issue in both EU regional policy and social policy primarily in the context of references to socio-economic disadvantage. At one level, the interest in this issue may be read as a reflection of a moral concern for the plight of the deprived. Social inclusion and equity between individuals or regions may be held to be good things simply on normative grounds and may be considered as fitting objectives of policy on that basis. This usage of the term social cohesion is consistent with the broad definition of social cohesion that incorporates the extent of inequalities in life-chances. Our preference has been for defining social cohesion in terms of relational connectedness and a sense of a common membership of a given community. This approach allows one to address the range of issues incorporated in the broader definition but maintains the conceptual distinction between objective and subjective dimensions. This has benefits in terms of conceptual clarity and high lights the need to explore the relationship between individual life-chances and the interpersonal processes of social cohesion on the other.
The State of the Art and Future Research Agenda reports produced by this network, which are available on the Network website, address these issues in a manner that is both comparative and interdisciplinary.

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