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The Social Structure of Subjective Well‐Being: Education, Status and Social Mobility 

Oct 03

An international conference hosted by the University of Luxembourg

Subjective well‐being (SWB) is a major goal of human actions. For a long time, SWB has been mainly studied by psychologists. Fuelled by an interest in how social structures and (material) conditions shape subjective perceptions, attitudes, and values, sociologists have successfully entered the field of SWB research in the last two decades. A main objective has been to show how socio‐economic characteristics such as class, status, prestige, education as well as gender or migration background, cultural variables such as ethnicity and religion and critical life events shape SWB. Furthermore, the association of GDP, unemployment rates, welfare policies, migration policies, and value climates with SWB have been high on the research agenda. While the state‐of‐research has provided many valuable insights and helped advance sociological research, it also generated mixed findings and mixed interpretations.

Against this backdrop, this international conference aims to shed light on how socio‐economic characteristics such as class, status, and education as well as other ascriptive factors such as gender and migration background structure SWB. We hope to induce debates on past and current research regarding several questions from a social science perspective: Which conceptual and empirical mechanisms explain the link between structural indicators and subjective well‐being? What is the impact of absolute and relative social positions on subjective well‐being? How does the distinction between hedonic and eudemonic add to the current measurement practices in the social sciences? How do new ways of social interaction affect SWB, e.g., through social comparison via social networks? What makes a liveable society? 


Keynote Speakers

  • Martijn Burger, Erasmus University Rotterdam 
  • Yaojun Li, University of Manchester  
  • Siegwart M. Lindenberg, University of Groningen  
  • Filomena Maggino, Sapienza University Rome  
  • Shigehiro Oishi, University of Virginia  
  • Claudia Senik, University Paris‐Sorbonne     

Scientific Committee

  • Monika Budowski, Université de Fribourg
  • Fabian Kratz, Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universität München
  • Christian Suter, Université de Neuchâtel
  • Andreas Hadjar & Robin Samuel, University of Luxembourg. 
Event information
03/10/2019 - 04/10/2019
Institute of Education and Society & Institute for Research on Generations and Family, University of Luxembourg (Campus Belval)
Esch‐sur‐Alzette, Luxembourg