Surviving the Transformation: Social Quality in Central Asia and the Caucuses

Pamela Abbott, Claire Wallace, Roger Sapsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper develops a sociologically informed understanding of what influences
the lives and life-choices of people living in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (Central
Asian Republics) and Armenia and Georgia (the Caucasus), four of the successor states of the Soviet Union that suffered significant social and economic changes following the collapse of the Union in 1991. The focus is on the nature of these societies for their citizens; ultimately we are concerned to understand what makes a society liveable for all, what type of society enables people to be generally satisfied with their lives. To do this we use the Social Quality model to derive indicators from which to model what makes for a liveable or at least tolerable society. The model is validated by reference to subjective satisfaction—how people feel about life in general—as the ultimate outcome indicator of individual well-being. The data we use were collected as part of a broader study of living conditions, lifestyles and health in eight of the successor states of the Soviet Union, the Confederation of Independent States (CIS).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-223
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number2
Early online date13 Feb 2010
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Central Asia and Caucuses
  • Social quality
  • Transformation
  • Satisfaction
  • Agency and structure


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