Enduring contexts: Segregation by affluence throughout the life course

This article by Maren Toft provides empirical evidence of residential pathways in the Oslo region over the life course; it does so by using population-wide data in a 24-year panel, while focusing on residency in affluent and deprived areas.

Abstract

Although temporal processes are fundamental to the ‘spatialization of class’, they remain understudied. This article thus provides empirical evidence of residential pathways in the Oslo region over the life course; it does so by using population-wide data in a 24-year panel, while focusing on residency in affluent and deprived areas.

By utilizing sequencing and clustering techniques, the analysis shows that exposure to dense poverty and affluence is reproduced and intensified within individual biographies; this is indicative of vastly limited life experiences from late adolescence into adulthood. Accordingly, the relationship between class origins and class destinations that is often reported in studies of class mobility is likely to be reinforced due to prolonged experiences in advantaged or disadvantaged surroundings over time.

Rather than being ‘stuck in place’, however, the disadvantaged are more geographically mobile and less spatially isolated than their affluent counterparts. The socio-spatial patterns suggest that the affluent employ strategies of spatial withdrawal that may be enabled by a dual process of closure consisting of the extensive marketization of housing and classed sentiments of belonging.

The article argues that revealing the way in which spatially mediated contexts unfold throughout the life course seems to hint at spatialized processes of class structuration, thereby shedding light on contemporary inequality.

 

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Published Nov. 29, 2017 3:21 PM - Last modified Nov. 29, 2017 3:21 PM