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  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Between Social Structure Inertia and Changing Biographies: Trajectories of Material Deprivation in Switzerland
    (Cham, Switzerland: SpringerOpen, 2018) ; ; ;
    In contemporary societies, attaining a decent standard of living which allows people to lead a socially integrated life is a key issue for human rights and social policy. In a context in which social structures are more porous yet still quite powerful, the risk of poverty is influenced both by the inertia of these structural determinants and by uncertain life events. This contribution analyzes trajectories of material deprivation in Switzerland from 1999 to 2013 using data from the Swiss Household Panel. We describe the trajectories the households experienced and test the impact of various determinants of these trajectories. We challenge the robustness of previous results by developing innovative measures of the determinants by gathering information at the household level and by taking into account changes in the situation of the households over time. Our findings suggest that some of the claims that have been made regarding the individualization of social inequalities and the decline of social class are not confirmed empirically, and that the classical determinants of social inequalities remain powerful predictors. Sure enough, critical life events can have an impact; however, the scale of this impact is nowhere near as great as the effect of ‘classical’ poverty factors.