As a fairly new interdisciplinary field of inquiry the quality of life research has benefited greatly from the discipline of sociology. The field consists of five overlapping traditions, namely 1) social indicators research, 2) happiness studies, 3) gerontology of successful aging, 4) psychology of wellbeing and 5) health related quality-of-life research. The efforts of sociologists are particularly prominent in the first two of these traditions. Quality-of-life is also a major issue in the fields of the sociology of work and sociology of the family. Quality-of-life has always been a topic of interest in philosophy where quality of lifeor the good life is viewed as a virtuous life. However, philosophers tend to disagree on what virtues are the most important. Thus, the philosophical approach is speculative and tends to be based on the philosopher’s personal experiences in life. In the late 20th century, however, quality-of-life became a topic of interest in the social sciences. Social scientists deal in a more empirical way with the subject and systematically gather data on the experiences of other people. In 1995, Quality-of-life research became institutionalized with the founding of the International Society for Quality Of Life Studies.

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Department of Sociology

Veenhoven, R. (2007). Quality-of-Life Research. Retrieved from