Welfare – Concept, types, welfare state and models

We explain what wellness is, in an individual, group sense and what types exist. Also, what is the welfare state and its models.

Well-being is a goal actively pursued by humanity.

What is wellness?

According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, well-being can be understood as the “state of the person in which the proper functioning of his somatic and psychic activity is made sensitive”, that is, that condition in which the good conditions of our Mind and body become perceptible, identifiable, recognizable to us.

This means that either we are not normally aware of it, or there are usually elements that interrupt such good operation. Whatever the case, well-being would come to be the individual or collective condition in which the minimum existential needs are covered.

The word well-being, made up of “well” and “being”, yields few clues, contenting itself with indicating that it is about “being well”, which tends to be a very subjective evaluation, that It depends on the life model, the expectations of self-realization and the socioeconomic conditions available, both for the individual and for their environment.

For some, well, well-being will be limited to the absence of disease, that is, to health; while others will argue that it depends on the availability of sufficient economic resources to satisfy basic needs; and others will point to social and affective conditions that are, in turn, essential to be “well”.

Still, wellness has been an actively pursued goal of humanity across economics, politics, and other disciplines. Thus it has been possible to manage available resources, dispose of populations or manipulate culture, in pursuit of collective well-being, which often must face the conditions of individual well-being.

This dichotomy between the best for the individual and the best for the community lies at the heart of the debate around Western politics, society, economics and culture itself.

Types of well-being

job well-being
Work well-being implies the possibility of exploiting one’s talents and abilities.

Broadly speaking, four types of well-being are distinguished, each one focused on one aspect or side of human existence, but necessarily interrelated with the others. Few aspects of our well-being can be fully achieved without others.

  • physical well-being. It refers to the functional condition of the body, that is, to physical health, which is not simply the fact of not suffering from diseases, but also having a functional body that allows us to exist in our own way. In this, the possibility of nourishing the body with food, providing physical exercise and medical care should also be considered, all in order to guarantee health.
  • Mental and emotional well-being. In this case, it refers to the functionality of the cognitive processes and the stability of the psyche in general, so that we can lead a normal life in society, make the best use of our talents, and not suffer from mental or neurological diseases that prevent us. This also includes emotional well-being, so it also has to do with the management of passions or the ability to deal with what is felt in a non-traumatic way.
  • Social welfare. It refers to the satisfaction of our basic needs in terms of being part of a community, since the human being is a gregarious animal. From our group we obtain affective support, a certain notion of identity (our own and collective), and numerous learnings. A person in isolation conditions will suffer social deprivation and will suffer its consequences in mental or even physical health.
  • Work well-being. In this case, we refer to the possibility of exploiting one’s talents and capacities in favor of society, without this activity (work) becoming a source of unnecessary suffering, physical and emotional damage, or becoming a harmful activity. for the rest of our lives. Labor welfare is contemplated in labor laws and is traditionally a matter of concern on the part of unions and unions, as well as the State.

Welfare state

The welfare state or welfare state (from the English Welfare state) is a model of social and political organization that attributes to the State the obligation to guarantee the satisfaction of social rights of the totality of the inhabitants of a country. It is a mixed economy model, a combination – as described by the British sociologist Thomas H. Marshall (1893-1981) – of democracy, collective social welfare and capitalism.

The welfare state ruled in Europe for much of the post-World War II era (1939-1945), and survives today on the basis of four recognizable models:

  • The Nordic model, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, relatively homogeneous states with a small population, have a higher level of social protection and a high number of public jobs, as well as a high margin of tax collection.
  • The continental model, from Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France, similar to the Nordic model but based on a system of social insurance and public subsidies for those over 25 years of age. It has fewer public labor policies and low-affiliation unions, despite its collective bargaining power.
  • The Anglo-Saxon model, of Great Britain and Ireland, characterized by less prevention systems, dedicated to last resort care and aimed mainly at the working population, and to a much lesser extent at pensions.
  • The Mediterranean model, from Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, countries whose industrial development was rather late compared to the rest of Europe, have low social assistance expenditures and a strongly pension-based system, with strong employment protection and early retirement as job improvement method.