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Poverty and Deprivation in Europe$
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Brian Nolan and Christopher T. Whelan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588435.001.0001

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Europeanization of Inequality and European Reference Groups

Europeanization of Inequality and European Reference Groups

(p.207) 10 Europeanization of Inequality and European Reference Groups
Poverty and Deprivation in Europe

Brian Nolan

Christopher T. Whelan

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes advantage of the availability of European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions data for the full range of European countries to address both weak and strong versions of the thesis of Europeanization of reference groups. The former proposes that common standards of evaluation emerge as a consequence of knowledge of conditions in other societies, while the latter argues that people increasingly perceive themselves as part of a larger European stratification system. Section 10.2 begins by reviewing the arguments for a ‘Europeanization’ of reference groups. The rest of the chapter focuses on how these can be assessed by examining the relationship between material deprivation and subjective economic stress. Section 10.3 looks at how levels of consumption deprivation and subjective economic stress vary across the countries of the enlarged EU. Section 10.4 present estimates of the impact of consumption deprivation on economic stress and how that varies across countries, and discusses their implications for reference group hypotheses. Finally, Section 10.5 summarizes the conclusions.

Keywords:   living conditions, material deprivation, economic stress, consumption deprivation

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