- How can we measure “Quality of Life”?
- How can we compare people & places to measure “Quality of life”?
From the researchers:
“The fact that we were women and approached the coasts by sea kayak enabled us to access areas that were frequently overlooked because they are not accessible by larger craft, and enabled us to engage differently with our respondents. Our kayaks created connections through their initial similarity to local canoes, and we were instantly welcomed on that basis. The men, however, were fascinated by the boats, whilst the women were interested in us. We were warmly welcomed into their lives and respondents were immediately open to our questions about coastal lives and livelihoods. The kayaks, like local canoes, became a symbolic representation of liminal living, and a research tool that ‘worked’ to open up new ways of doing expedition geography.”
Finding out a person’s Quality of Life is difficult to do as asking a person how happy they are is very personal, as well as very subjective. Using Standard of Living Indicators is not much easier as, again, the information is personal and interpreting the data tricky. The Hugging the Coast researchers gave themselves the best chance of finding out the information they wanted by picking their methodologies very closely (interviews and travel by sea kayak).
In the previous lessons students have analysed Quality of Life and Standards of Living through the use of photographs, video and in depth interviews. In this lesson students will take those skills and use them to contrast different ways of life.