Life Course Risks or Cumulative Disadvantage? The Structuring Effect of Social Stratification Determinants and Life Course Events on Poverty Transitions in Europe
Title: Life Course Risks or Cumulative Disadvantage? The Structuring Effect of Social Stratification Determinants and Life Course Events on Poverty Transitions in Europe
Author: VANDECASTEELE, Leen
Citation: European Sociological Review, 2011, 27, 2, 246-263
ISSN: 1468-2672; 0266-7215
The aim of this article is to assess the importance of a life event perspective on poverty in relation to the traditional social stratification approach. Lately, poverty has often been seen as a life course risk associated with certain life events and less influenced by characteristics of social position. The empirical part of this article explores the importance of the life course perspective as well as the social stratification framework for the understanding of the poverty risk. The question asked is whether risky life events have the same poverty-triggering effect for all social stratification groups or whether processes of cumulative disadvantage prevail at crucial life transitions. The findings, based on random effects event history analyses of the European Community Household Panel Survey, show that structural and biographical explanations of poverty do not present themselves as opposites, but they rather complement each other and their interactions provide interesting insights. The results show that the most vulnerable social groups are more affected by the poverty-triggering effect of a life stage like childbirth. On the other hand, job loss is a more general poverty trigger, substantially increasing everyone's poverty entry risk. Also partnership dissolution has a poverty triggering effect for people of all educational levels and all social classes. In line with previous research, we found that partnership dissolution affects the poverty entry risk of women more strongly.
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.