Social Indicators Research

, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 1009–1019 | Cite as

Whatever Happened to Social Indicators in Africa? Whatever Happened Indeed! A Developing World Perspective on the Kenneth C. Land and Alex C. Michalos Report on ‘Fifty Years After the Social Indicators Movement’

  • Valerie MøllerEmail author


Africa is a latecomer to the Social Indicators Movement. The first social indicators for Third World countries were developed by outsiders and covered almost exclusively topics related to basic needs and development. In response to Kenneth Land’s and Alex Michalos’ historical assessment and their agenda for future ‘social indicators/quality of life/well-being’ research, the commentary traces how South Africa and sub-Saharan countries—with a little help from many friends who are pioneers in the movement—have succeeded in developing their own home-grown social indicators movement. Addressing some of the themes outlined in the agenda that Land and Michalos set for future research, the commentary discusses the importance of monitoring social change occurring in African society in a ‘post-industrialized and much more globalized, and digitized-computerized-roboticized’ era: How will new values and norms impact on the quality of life of future generations of African people?


Social indicators movement Quality of life Sub-Saharan Africa Globalization Development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Quality of Life Studies, Institute of Social and Economic ResearchRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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