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Welfare and well-beingSocial value in public policy$
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Bill Jordan

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420800

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420800.001.0001

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Well-being and social value: ‘I shall not come to your funeral’

Well-being and social value: ‘I shall not come to your funeral’

(p.35) two Well-being and social value: ‘I shall not come to your funeral’
Welfare and well-being

Bill Jordan

Policy Press

This chapter considers what an alternative account of social value might offer to the analysis of the issues in well-being and welfare. It introduces the idea that well-being is directly related to access to social value, and that economic welfare must be seen as part of a particular system for exchanging and distributing such value. As with all systems for symbolic interaction, negative and positive transactions occur. The concepts of loss, cost, debt, insolvency and ruin are important and necessary to competition for esteem, success, and celebrity, in which the price of failure is exclusion, stigma, shame, obscurity and material poverty. The culture of contract and economic welfare is not a replacement for archaic status, authority, dominance and subordination: it is an instance of how these forms of social value are embodied in the production and exchange of material goods and services. Discussed in this chapter are: the economics of esteem; choice, contract and culture; making competent individuals; and the transformation of collective life.

Keywords:   social value, choice, economic welfare, esteem, culture, contract

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