Subjective Well-Being: Conceptualization, Assessment and Russian Specifics




subjective well-being, happiness, life satisfaction, social well-being, social mood, subjective quality of life, cross-country research, public opinion polls


The current paper provides a brief overview of subjective well-being studies in Russia. The authors analyze definitions and measurement of such concepts as «subjective quality of life», «social mood», «social well-being». The concept of «social well-being», which has the widest application among Russian social researchers, has two possible interpretations (wide and narrow). Only its narrow interpretation can be treated as a synonym for subjective well-being. The paper also describes existing Russian and cross-country datasets which can be used to investigate time trends and cross-country variation of subjective well-being.

Acknowledgements. We are grateful to all the authors and reviewers, the editorial board of the Monitoring of Public Opinion Journal and personally Anna Kuleshova, Anna Kokareva and Ilya Lomakin for their fruitful work on this issue. We are also thankful to Russian Science Foundation (RSF) for the funding the research project no. 18-18-00341 “Transformation of Values and Subjective Quality of Life: A Regional Perspective”. This project became a trigger to issue a special volume on happiness and subjective well-being in Russia.

Author Biographies

Anna M. Almakaeva, National Research University Higher School of Economics

  • National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Laboratory for Comparative Social Research Deputy Head; Senior Lecturer at the School of Sociology

Natalya V. Gashenina, inFOM

  • inFOM, Moscow, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Economics), Leading Specialist of the “Financial Behavior” Group