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The Science of Dignity

Measuring Personhood and Well-Being in the United States
Oxford University Press
Erschienen am 1. Dezember 2021
233 Seiten
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978-0-19-774388-1 (ISBN)
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This book provides original evidence arguing for dignity as an indicator of public health, by offering a scientific framework for measuring dignity and its social determinants. Hitlin and Andersson show that dignity can be efficiently measured by using simple survey items that ask individuals whether there is "dignity" in their life or in how they are treated by others. National survey data show that unhappiness, sadness, anger, and lower general health are far more common for those reporting undignified lives. These differences in reported dignity come from inequalities in social and economic resources and from experiences of disrespect, threat, or life stress. Social groups with less power generally report lower levels of dignity linked to these multifaceted resource and stress inequalities, which are examined throughout the book. Hitlin and Andersson show that dignity possesses universal value for health and well-being in America, providing a scientific basis for collective consensus and social inspiration.
Steven Hitlin is a sociological social psychologist whose work spans morality, self and identity, the life course, and social theory. Before his faculty position at Iowa, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author or co-author for several books and academic articles including Unequal Foundations: Inequality, Morality and Emotions Across Cultures (Oxford) and Moral Selves, Evil Selves: The Social Psychology of Conscience (Palgrave Macmillan). Matthew A. Andersson is a sociologist who studies health inequalities across the life course. His research has been published in numerous publications in leading journals in the social and population health sciences. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and a Presidential Graduate Research Fellow at The University of Iowa. He serves on the editorial boards of Society and Mental Health and Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
Acknowledgments Introduction More than a Feeling: Dignity and Health Inequalities in America Chapter One A Wide-Ranging Tour of Perspectives on Dignity Chapter Two Seeing Circles: Dignity as a Public Health Issue Chapter Three Beyond Reason: Finding Dignity in Social Relations Chapter Four American Capitalism and its Multifaceted Links to Dignity Chapter Five Measuring Dignity Subjectively: Methodology for 2017 and 2021 Gallup Data Chapter Six Dignity as an Efficient Indicator of Social and Moral Integration Chapter Seven Is a Dignified Life a Healthier Life? Chapter Eight A Resource-Based Framework for Analyzing Levels of Dignity Chapter Nine Inequality and Stress: Charting Dignity During Social Adversity Chapter Ten One Polarized Nation: Dignity Across Political Ideologies Conclusion Moving Forward: Dignity's Role in Collective Consensus and Social Inspiration References Index

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