In 1971 Land argued that a social indicator should be a component, that is a parameter or a variable, in a sociological model of a social system or some segment of a social system. This was the first strong suggestion that social indicators needed to be more than some sort of statistical series. Lineberry et al, writing on the use of indicators by municipalities, warned that the first conceptual limitation which should be identified when promoting social indicator use must be the poor record of indicators in detecting causal relationships among various factors contributing to a specific social problem. They attribute this inability to the general lack of social theory. Bunge points out that the very definition of a social indicator of some life quality contains a causal notion relating that indicator to wellbeing. This would be acceptable if there were a science of wellbeing or at least some reasonable model. He goes on since no such thing has been constructed so far, we are forced to use our treacherous commonsense to an extent that is uncommon in science. Which is a polite way of saying that, so far, the study of the quality of life has not been thoroughly scientific.
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1979
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