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From Dissonance to Well-Being and Adaption? Quality of Life in Switzerland Over the Past Decades

  • Christian SuterEmail author
  • Katia Iglesias
  • Jehane Moussa
Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

Switzerland occupies a top position on most global rankings of well-being and quality of life, which has often been attributed to Swiss exceptionalism. This chapter traces back this exceptional pattern of well-being until the early 1960s, when one of the first quality of life studies of the country diagnosed a “Swiss malaise”, caused by a contradiction between the high material well-being and the societal norms demanding ascetic lifestyles. Our analysis of the evolution of societal and individual well-being over the past decades across the various key areas and life domains, for both objective living conditions and subjective evaluations and satisfaction suggest a softening of these inconsistencies and a normalisation of Swiss exceptionalism. The Swiss pattern of well-being and quality of life has thus moved from a constellation of “dissonance” towards “well-being” and “adaptation”.

Keywords

Switzerland Well-being Quality of life Social indicators Societal well-being Individual well-being Satisfaction Dissonance Adaptation Social inequalities Poverty Employment Social cohesion Social security Freedom Political trust Political participation Education Housing Health Leisure Sustainability Public safety 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Suter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katia Iglesias
    • 1
  • Jehane Moussa
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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