Understanding the Dynamics of Life Satisfaction in the Swedish Welfare State: A Multifaceted Analysis Integrating Quantitative, Qualitative, and Discourse Approaches

James E. Conable, Joel Newman, Imabong Olsson


This interdisciplinary study investigates life satisfaction in the context of the Swedish welfare state, employing a mixed-methods approach to offer a comprehensive understanding. Quantitative analyses, utilizing World Values Survey data, reveal significant associations between work importance, household financial situation, and life satisfaction. However, the explanatory power of the models remains modest at 15.3%. The study emphasizes the need for a holistic approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of work and financial well-being with other determinants of life satisfaction. Qualitative insights, derived from interviews and focus groups, explore individual experiences, uncovering nuanced perspectives on well-being. Participants highlight the importance of resources, welfare benefits, work, and personal freedom, aligning with the capability approach. The conceptualization of well-being incorporates Chambers' notion of capabilities, Sen's emphasis on freedom, and Nussbaum's consideration of how individuals’ function. Discourse analysis enriches the study by examining language as a constitutive force, shaping perceptions, and influencing actions. A focus group discussion and blog analysis reveal diverse views on life satisfaction, emphasizing the significance of freedom and choice. The findings contribute to the broader understanding of life satisfaction, calling for future research that integrates quantitative, qualitative, and discourse analysis approaches. The study underscores the complexity of life satisfaction and its multifaceted determinants, urging policymakers and practitioners to adopt comprehensive strategies in promoting well-being in welfare states like Sweden.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jsss.v11i1.21793


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Copyright (c) 2024 James E. Conable, Joel Newman, Imabong Olsson

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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