QOL research in a virulent world

Published by rudy Date posted on August 28, 2021

By: Mahar Mangahas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 Aug 2021

The participation of academics at international conferences hasn’t slackened in this time of pandemic. It has merely changed its mode, with the research papers now presented virtually, like by Zoom, instead of face to face. There is no more foreign travel, which lessens both the financial cost and the tourism/vacation benefits to conference-goers. On the other hand, now there are very many more researchers, especially younger ones, who get a chance to personally meet and share findings and ideas with their peers.

The summer break of July to September, in the Western academic calendar, is still the traditional conference season, when many research professors are off from teaching. On our calendar for Aug. 25-28 is the 2021 Virtual Conference of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (isqols.org) on the theme: “Quality-of-Life and Adaptation in a Virulent World.” The 18th ISQOLS annual conference has no venue; it is both nowhere and everywhere.

The SWS conference presentations started last Wednesday with 1. “Surveying Filipino well-being in the pandemic,” in which I narrated our switch to the mobile phone mode for three survey rounds in 2020, and our resumption of the (superior) face-to-face mode last November. Our surveys found the people in unprecedented, catastrophic suffering by mid-2020. The suffering abated but was still drastic by mid-2021. Details are found in SWS media releases and my Social Climate columns; more reports from our June 2021 survey are forthcoming.

There were six other SWS reports that day: 2. “Correlates of current, future and ideal happiness in the Philippines” by Gerardo Sandoval and Linda Luz Guerrero; 3. “Impact of joblessness on quality of life indicators of Filipinos” by Krisia Santos and Christian Michael Entoma; 4. “Is having a college degree worth it? A study of quality of life and well-being of college graduates in the Philippines” by Marco Mercado; 5. “A comparison of social support, perceived integration, and social trust among self-rated poor and self-rated non-poor Filipinos” by Jose Miguel Alberto Carlos and Dankarl Leon Magpayo; 6. “Quality of life and well-being of OFW families in the past two decades and during the Covid-19 pandemic” by Christine Belle Torres and Iremae Labucay; and 7. “[E]xploring the changes in the quality of life and well-being of the Filipino youth through the past two decades and amidst the Covid-19 pandemic” by Dankarl Leon Magpayo.

Next day (8/26), we presented: 8. “Levels of social trust and political participation in Southeast Asia: a cross-national analysis using the Asian Barometer Surveys” by Fernel Ted Paguinto; 9. “Factors affecting frequency and magnitude of stress among Filipinos: findings from the SWS national surveys” by Christian Michael Entoma; 10. “Exploring the religiosity of Filipinos: a time-series analysis on the importance of religion and attendance of religious services” by Hannah Jean Jimala; and 11. “Investigating the effects of government money-help on household hunger in the Philippines during the Covid-19 crisis” by Malou Tabor, Josefina Mar, and Rommel Tabije. Our last paper (8/27) was: 12. “Filipino assessment of risk of going to essential places during Covid-19 pandemic” by Malou Tabor, Marco Mercado, and Josefina Mar.

We are many researchers in SWS, actively engaged in all social sciences of our competence, not any one science in particular. We are independent, with our own interests and priorities, which we think are not too peculiar, but are of general public interest. All the data presented are from non-commissioned surveys unless stated otherwise. The subjects we work on go beyond what sponsors approach us to study for them.

The Filipino people are both the source of our data and the subject matter of the data. We do not collect the data as a service for news media; we do not charge the media any fees. But we appreciate the media as vital channels for informing the public of our research. We’ve also had media sponsors, from time to time.

The next international conference on our horizon is that of WAPOR-Asia, the Asian chapter of the World Association for Public Opinion Research. It is in November; SWS will participate, of course.

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