1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Inequalities and the Life Course

Edited By Magda Nico, Gary Pollock Copyright 2022
    458 Pages 56 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    458 Pages 56 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing upon perspectives from across the globe and employing an interdisciplinary life course approach, this handbook explores the production and reproduction of different types of inequality across a variety of social contexts.

    Inequalities are not static, easily measurable, and essentially quantifiable circumstances of life. They are processes which impact on individuals throughout the life course, interacting with each other, accumulating, attenuating, reproducing, or distorting themselves along the way. The chapters in this handbook examine various types of inequality, such as economic, gender, racial, and ethnic inequalities, and analyse how these inequalities manifest themselves within different aspects of society, including health, education, and the family, at multiple levels and dimensions. The handbook also tackles the global COVID-19 pandemic and its striking impact on the production and intensification of inequalities.

    The interdisciplinary life course approach utilised in this handbook combines quantitative and qualitative methods to bridge the gap between theory and practice and offer strategies and principles for identifying and tackling issues of inequality. This book will be indispensable for students and researchers as well as activists and policy makers interested in understanding and eradicating the processes of production, reproduction, and perpetuation of inequalities.

    Section 1– Inequality as process

    Introduction - Doing Inequalities over the life course

    Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    1. Inequality across time: social change, biography and the life course
    2. Dale Dannefer, Chengming Han, and Jiao Yu

    3. Poverty and economic insecurity in the life course
    4. Leen Vandecasteele, Dario Spini, Nicolas Sommet, and Felix Bühlmann

    5. Inequality as process
    6. Elisabetta Ruspini

    7. Life course inequality and policy: a focus on child well-being
    8. Gary Pollock, Jessica Ozan, and Haridhan Goswami


      Section 2– Assessing inequalities: complementary methods

      Introduction - Imagining the understanding of inequalities

      Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    9. Studying social inequality over the life course in modern societies. The methodological importance of life course studies
    10. Gwendolin J. Blossfeld and Hans-Peter Blossfeld

    11. The analysis of inequality in life trajectories: an integration of two approaches
    12. Danilo Bolano and André Berchtold

    13. Evolution of COVID-19 lethality and geographically contrasting socio-economic factors in Brazil: a multilevel perspective
    14. Joseph F. Hair, Jr, Luiz Paulo Fávero, and Rafael de Freitas Souza

    15. Health inequalities across the life course: theories, statistical pitfalls, and the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
    16. Fabian Kratz


      Section 3 – The social stratification of health

      Introduction - The inherent longitudinality of health inequalities

      Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    17. Mental health inequalities
    18. Jane D. McLeod and Max E. Coleman

    19. How an analysis of lifespan inequality can contribute to our understanding of life course inequalities
    20. Alyson van Raalte

    21. Two centuries of inequalities: disability and partnership in Sweden
    22. Lotta Vikström, Kateryna Karhina, and Johan Junkka

    23. The Covid-19 pandemic: inequalities and the life course
    24. Richard A. Settersten, Jr., Laura Bernardi, Juho Härkönen, Toni C. Antonucci, Pearl A. Dykstra, Jutta Heckhausen, Diana Kuh, Karl Ulrich Mayer, Phyllis Moen, Jeylan T. Mortimer, Clara H. Mulder, Timothy M. Smeeding, Tanja Van Der Lippe, Gunhild O. Hagestad, Martin Kohli, René Levy, Ingrid Schoon, and Elizabeth Thomson


      Section 4 – Economic and wealth inequalities

      Introduction - The challenge of complexity in the analysis of economic inequalities

      Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    25. Concepts of social stratification—static and dynamic perspectives
    26. Steffen Hillmert

    27. Optimising the use of measures of social stratification in research with intersectional and longitudinal analytical priorities
    28. Paul Lambert and Camilla Barnett

    29. Stagnation and inequality in a historical view: a comment on Piketty's analysis of capitalism and the Portuguese case
    30. Francisco Louçã

    31. Things can’t only get better: inequality and democracy over a life-span
    32. Kevin Albertson and Richard Whittle

      Section 5 – Youth, education and transition to adulthood

      Introduction - Half way down the stairs – somewhere else instead

      Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    33. Expansion and improved permeability of post-secondary education in Germany: consequences for social inequalities in educational attainment
    34. Nicole Tieben and Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt

    35. Educational expansion across cohorts and over the life course: an international comparison of (rapid) educational expansion and the consequences of the differentiation of tertiary education
    36. Pia Blossfeld, Gwendolin J. Blossfeld, and Hans-Peter Blossfeld

    37. Class in successive life courses in Britain since 1945
    38. Ken Roberts

    39. Mapping young Norwegians’ self-projects and future orientations
    40. Ingunn Marie Eriksen and Kari Stefansen

      Section 6 – Family and linked lives

      Introduction - Families at the heart of linked (lives and) inequalities

      Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    41. Care inequality in later life in ageing societies: the unequal distribution of the intensity of informal support in Europe
    42. Marco Albertini and Riccardo Prandini

    43. The apple, the tree and the forest: family histories as radars of social mobility and inequalities
    44. Magda Nico and Maria Gilvania Valdivino Silva

    45. Family formation and social inequalities. A life course perspective
    46. Stefano Cantalini

    47. Farewell’s children: using the life course perspective to understand female late fertility Rosalina Pisco Costa
    48. Section 7 – Gender inequalities

      Introduction - Gender inequalities: time-varying and trajectories

      Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    49. The mutual constitution of gendered and sexualised inequalities in life courses
    50. José Fernando Serrano-Amaya

    51. Gender trajectories and the production of inequalities from a life course perspective
    52. Sofia Aboim and Pedro Vasconcelos

    53. Inequalities in work and the intersectional life course
    54. Phyllis Moen and Mahala Miller

    55. LGBTIQ+ life course inequalities and queer temporalities
    56. Maria do Mar Varela and Yener Bayramoğlu

      Section 8 – Racial and ethnic inequalities

      Introduction - The weight of structure on the skin

      Magda Nico and Gary Pollock

    57. The centrality of race to inequality across the world-system
    58. Manuela Boatca

    59. A life course approach to understanding ethnic health inequalities in later life: an example using the United Kingdom as national context
    60. Sarah Stopforth, Laia Bécares, James Nazroo, and Dharmi Kapadia

    61. The inequalities of empire: comparative perspectives
    62. Cátia Antunes and Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo

    63. How the COVID-19 pandemic is shifting the migrant-inequality narrative

    Ferdinand C. Mukumbang


    Magda Nico is a Researcher at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES-ISCTE) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Research Methods at ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon. She is currently coordinating a project on the importance and dynamics of ‘linked lives’ within families. Her research interests include life course theory and methods, family histories, social mobility, and the processes of inequalities.

    Gary Pollock is Professor of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. He currently coordinates the European Research Council-funded Cohort Community Research and Development Infrastructure Network for Access Throughout Europe (COORDINATE) project and has previously led the European Cohort Development (EDCP) and Measuring Youth Well-Being (MYWEB) projects. His research interests include the design and analysis of survey data on children and young people and their life trajectories, particularly using longitudinal techniques.