ERIC Number: EJ786826
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Subjective Well-Being, Poverty and Ethnicity in South Africa: Insights from an Exploratory Analysis
Neff, Daniel F.
Social Indicators Research, v80 n2 p313-341 Jan 2007
South Africa has one of the highest inequality levels in the world. In 1993, nearly half of the population were considered poor. These poverty and inequality levels were and still are a legacy of South Africa's colonial and apartheid past. Since the end of apartheid, there has been a strong governmental effort to combat poverty and in this light a "social indicators movement" has emerged. The aim of this article is to contribute to the South African social indicators research in three ways: Firstly, this article introduces ethnicity as a unit of analysis in the context of poverty and well-being. It is argued that racial categorisations are not justifiable and in the case of South Africa hide valuable insights. The results of an exploratory analysis suggest that ethnicity allows a more insightful analysis of poverty and well-being than race. Secondly, this article introduces a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) in the context of subjective well-being research. Many studies regarding subjective well-being in South Africa use ordered probit regression models. It is argued here that these models are based on false assumptions and that a MCA can be seen as a suitable alternative since it constitutes an assumption free model. Lastly, the insights gained from the exploratory analysis are discussed. The MCA seems to show that subjective well-being can be regarded as an outcome measure. Furthermore, it is argued that there are cultural differences (between the ethnic groups) regarding subjective well-being. It seems that the ethnic groups in South Africa have different conceptions of well-being and that different factors influence their subjective well-being assessments.
Descriptors: Ethnicity, Race, Poverty, Racial Segregation, Well Being, Cultural Differences, Social Indicators, Foreign Countries, History, Foreign Policy, Models, Evaluation Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa