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Rhodes > ISER > People > Staff > Prof Valerie Moller

Professor Emerita

 Valerie Moller Profile

Prof Valerie Møller

Lic, Phil, PhD (Zurich)

Email: v.moller@ru.ac.za

VALERIE MØLLER is Professor Emeritus at Rhodes University. She was appointed to the new chair of Quality of Life Studies at Rhodes in the Institute of Social and Economic Research in 2007. Before that she was director of ISER (1998–2006) and headed the Quality of Life Research Unit at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, in the 1990s. She grew up in the southern United States and Switzerland.  A sociologist by training, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Zürich. She and her architect husband arrived in Africa in 1972 in a VW kombi and stayed. She has lived and worked in southern Africa since that time.  

Together with South African colleagues, she initiated the South African Quality of Life (SAQoL) trends study that has tracked the personal well-being of South Africans from all walks of life since the early 1980s. In 1996 and 2004, together with Alex Michalos, editor of the leading international journal on quality-of-life, Social Indicators Research, she organised ‘roving conferences’ to promote social indicators and quality-of-life research among South African scholars. The 2004 ‘Roving Conference’ held at Rhodes University formed part of the University’s Centenary celebrations.

Valerie Møller has published some 200 research articles, chapters in books, and research monographs covering a wide range of topics related to quality of life and well-being. She has edited or co-edited a number of Springer volumes on quality-of-life topics including two focusing on South African quality of life (published in 1997 and 2007).

She is an International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS) Fellow, hosted the ISQOLS 7th conference at Rhodes University in 2006, and served as ISQoL’s President (2007–8). She serves on the boards of a number of quality-of-life journals and received the 1997 (with Lawrence Schlemmer) and 2013 Best Social Indicator Research (SIR) Paper awards. The 2013 Best SIR Paper reported on three decades of the SAQoL trends study. 

Recent Publications:

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Møller, V. and Roberts, B.J. (2017). “South African Hopes and Fears Twenty Years into Democracy: A Replication of Hadley Cantril’s Pattern of Human Concerns”. Social Indicators Research 130(1): 39-69.


Møller, V. (2017). “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' “. Social Indicators Research

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11205-017-1555-y.  http://rdcu.be/opqP

Møller, V., Roberts, B.J. and Zani, D. (2016). “The National Wellbeing Index in the IsiXhosa Translation: Focus group discussions on how South Africans view the quality of their society”. Social Indicators Research.

DOI: 10.1007/s11205-016-1481-4  http://rdcu.be/mOnk


Møller, V., Roberts, B., and Zani, D. (2015). “The Personal Wellbeing Index in the South African isiXhosa translation: A qualitative focus group study”. Social Indicators Research 124: 835–862.


Books/Chapters in Books

Møller, V., Roberts, B.J., Tiliouine, H. & Loschky, J. (2017). “ ‘Waiting for Happiness’ in Africa“. In Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (eds). World Happiness Report 2017. (Chapter 4, pp. 84-120). New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


Møller, V. and Roberts, B. (2017). “New Beginnings in an Ancient Region: Well-Being in Sub-Saharan Africa” In Estes, R.J. and Sirgy, M.J. (eds.) The Pursuit of Human Well-Being: The Untold Global History. (pp. 161–215), International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life Research, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


ISBN 978-3-319-39100-7  

Møller, V. (2016). “South African perceptions of the good life twenty years into democracy. In Maggino, F. (ed.) A Life Devoted to Quality of Life, Festschrift in Honor of Alex C. Michalos. Social Indicators Research Series 60 (pp. 271–295). Dordrecht: Springer International Publisher.


ISBN 978-3-319-20568-7

Glatzer, W., and Camfield, L., Møller, V. and Rojas, M. (eds.). (2015). “Global Handbook of Quality of Life: Exploration of well-being of nations and continents”. Springer International handbooks of quality-of-life. Dordrecht: Springer.


Roberts, B.J., Gordon, S.L., Møller, V. and Struwig, J. (2015). “Shadow of the Sun – the distribution of wellbeing in Sub-Saharan Africa”. In: Glatzer, W. and Camfield, L., Møller, V., and Rojas, M. (eds.) Global Handbook of Quality of Life: Exploration of well-being of nations and continents. Springer International handbooks of quality-of-life (pp. 531– 568). Dordrecht: Springer.


Conference presentations

Møller, V. and Roberts, B.J. (2017). Powerpoint presentation on ‘Waiting for Happiness in Africa’ at the World Happiness Report 2017 launch held on 20 March 2017 at The United Nations Headquarters in New York City, in New York, USA.

Møller, V. and Tiliouine, H. (2015). Powerpoint presentation on Quality of life in South Africa and Algeria: A multi-method approach (2011-2013) at the South Africa-Algeria Joint Researchers’ Workshop held on 18-20 October 2015 in the iThemba LAB, Faure, Western Cape, South Africa.  

Last Modified: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:11:32 SAST