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The Social Stratification of Social Risks: Class and Responsibility in the 'New' Welfare State

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Pintelon

    (Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp)

  • Bea Cantillon

    (Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp)

  • Karel Van den Bosch

    (Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp)

  • Christopher T. Whelan

    (School of Sociology & Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

Abstract

Welfare states are said to have evolved over the course of the past twenty years towards a ‘social investment’ model of welfare, characterised by a focus on equality of opportunity and upward social mobility combined with greater emphasis on individual responsibility. More or less concurrently, under the mantra of ‘individualisation’, scepticism has grown with regard to the relevance of traditional stratification schemes. This paper sets out to ascertain whether social class, i.e. intergenerational background, (still) affects the occurrence of ‘social risks’. Using SILC 2005 data, it considers the impact of social class (of origin) on a relevant selection of social risks: unemployment, ill-health, living in a jobless household, single parenthood, temporary employment, and low-paid employment. The results provide clear evidence of a continuing influence of social class. On this basis, we argue that a one-sided focus on individual responsibility could open the door to new forms of marginalisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Pintelon & Bea Cantillon & Karel Van den Bosch & Christopher T. Whelan, 2011. "The Social Stratification of Social Risks: Class and Responsibility in the 'New' Welfare State," Working Papers 201123, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201123
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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201123.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. O'Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 1998. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain: Evidence from Unemployment Patterns," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(4), pages 431-447, November.
    2. Joris Ghysels & Wim Van Lancker, 2010. "The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children," Working Papers 1008, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    3. Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maitre, 2008. "“New” and “Old” Social Risks: Life Cycle and Social Class Perspectives on Social Exclusion in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 39(2), pages 131-156.
    4. Robert Erikson & John H. Goldthorpe, 2002. "Intergenerational Inequality: A Sociological Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 31-44, Summer.
    5. Bolam, Bruce & Murphy, Simon & Gleeson, Kate, 2004. "Individualisation and inequalities in health: a qualitative study of class identity and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 1355-1365, October.
    6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    7. Caroline Dewilde, 2008. "Individual and institutional determinants of multidimensional poverty: A European comparison," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 233-256, April.
    8. Wiemer Salverda & Ken Mayhew, 2009. "Capitalist economies and wage inequality," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 126-154, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Leoni, 2015. "Welfare state adjustment to new social risks in the post-crisis scenario. A review with focus on the social investment perspective," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 89, WWWforEurope.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ireland; Austerity; Fiscal Policy; Monetary Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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