Sociological approaches to study of professional autonomy in connection with subjective well-being in cross-national perspectives


This paper focuses on the investigation of the relationship between individual’s professionalindependance(autonomy) and subjective well-being in a comparative perspective. The objective of the presentedwork is an analytical overview of key studies of the links between life satisfaction, subjective well-being andprofessional autonomy in the context of comparative analysis. Research interest in this topic was determined by thefact that the definition of the level of life satisfaction is not possible without taking into account socio-structuredfactors that determine and influence the level of psychological well-being of the individual.

The feeling of happinesstogether with the satisfaction and psychological well-being are relative concepts, because individual determines thelevel of life satisfaction, comparing himself to others, to the standards of «normality» and «consumption norms»within a society. If the standard of living of an individual exceeds this standard, the feeling of satisfaction is higher,and vice versa, if does not reach «normal levels»–lower. However, at the micro level environment is family,friends’ or professional relationship can serve as one of the evaluation factors of psychological comfort. Socio-structured position of the individual and his quality of life evaluation are interdependent variables: professionalaffiliation, level ofeducation and income has positive correlation with the feeling of life satisfaction. Professionalactivity is a significant part of that as the person spends most of their time on it. Therefore, the professionalconditions, where it is located, can serve as indicators for his psychological comfort or discomfort, life satisfactionetc. Referring to previous sociological works, paper dwells upon general logic of the respective studiosdevelopment. In particular, the focus is on professional communication environment where the individual is, and hislevel of life satisfaction. It is important to note that there are both direct and indirect relationships between thesevariables.

The specificity of this connection is defined by both individual characteristics andmore general socio-cultural conditions of the labor organization. Authors point out the necessity of attention to the influence of thegroup relations context, group interactions and dynamics of the personality’s life cycle on the relationship betweensubjective well-being and professional autonomy.

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