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Abwärtsmobilität und ihre Folgen: Die Entwicklung von Wohlbefinden und Partizipation nach Verarmung


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  • Böhnke, Petra
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    Die These, dass Armut negativ auf das Wohlbefinden und die Partizipationschancen der Betroffenen wirkt, ist populär und weithin anerkannt. Ursache und Wirkung, Entwicklungsprozesse und erklärende Mechanismen sind aber bislang wenig untersucht worden. Welche Konsequenzen hat Armut für kulturelle, politische und zivilgesellschaftliche Partizipation sowie für subjektives Wohlbefinden in Deutschland zwischen 1984 und 2006? Mit Hilfe von soziologischen und sozialpsychologischen Erklärungsansätzen wird geprüft, ob und in welcher Weise Armut weitere Benachteiligungen nach sich zieht (Kumulation). Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Armut zu Einbußen beim Wohlbefinden und zu rückläufiger Partizipation führt, obwohl mehrheitlich eine selektive, schon vorher benachteiligte Gruppe verarmt. Finanzielle Restriktionen werden nicht mit sozialen und kulturellen Aktivitäten kompensiert, und es gibt nur schwache Hinweise auf Anpassungsprozesse. Die Reaktionen unterscheiden sich nach betrachtetem Lebensbereich und vorangegangener Einkommensposition. Für Mittelschicht-Absteiger sind negative Effekte auf das Wohlbefinden ausgeprägter. Politisches Interesse reagiert nicht auf Armutserfahrungen. Vergleichsprozesse und stabile Persönlichkeitseigenschaften spielen als Erklärungen eine wichtige Rolle. -- It is quite popular to assume that poverty influences well-being and participation chances negatively. However, up to now little is known about causes and consequences, related developments and explaining mechanisms. Which consequences does poverty have for cultural and political participation, civic engagement as well as for subjective well-being in Germany between 1984 and 2006? Sociological and socio-psychological theories are consulted in order to provide hypothesis about if and how poverty leads to other non-monetary disadvantages. Results show that participations chances and wellbeing decrease when people descend into poverty, although the majority of the poor is a selective group that suffers from low quality of life even before. Financial losses are not compensated with social or cultural activities. Adaptation does not show up. However, reactions differ according to different life domains and pre-poverty income position. For the poor coming from the middle class downgrades in subjective well-being are distinctive. Political interest is not related to poverty experiences. Comparisons with reference groups and stable personality traits can offer important explanations.

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration with number SP I 2009-205.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbisi:spi2009205

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