UK is geographically uneven and unequal.
North South divide
It’s grim up north’ stereotype; deindustrialisation- in 1960 ‘heavy’ industry accounted for 48% of employment but by 1995 this share had fallen to 22% and 70% of jobs were in the service sector (mostly low wage, casual, part time in hospitality – not equivalent in pay or profile to the jobs that were lost).
- Male/ Female
Less Familiar ideas
- Health, happiness, well being, mutuality
- Positionality: personal views/experience
- Media representations
- Complexity of absolute/relative hardship
Patterns in data? Lies and Statistics (Danny Dorli
-‘Facts’ tell us nothing about the quality of life or social change in 1975; absence of meaningful context of structured social relations makes them invalid and nonsense.
Office of national statistics: demographic data etc.
- Consider the well-known trend of an ageing UK population; used to ‘infer’ growing problem (cost) of social care; but old age dependency not simply physiological but socially constructed – by the family, retirement policy, media representations and cultural stereotypes.
- Demographic data, basic information about rates of birth, marriage, death and migration, are commonly treated as one of the most ‘robust’ types of evidence available – but these ‘social facts’ are not always as they seem (hence endlessly revised projections; ‘law-like’ constraints of the life-cycle have been transformed by technology and culture, e.g. birth control and same-sex marriage).
Professor Stephen Jenkins: studying income inequal
- Range of income from bottom to top is like an apartment building. Basement = poor, top in penthouse = richest.
- His research is about movement between 'floors': are people stuck where they are or do they move in an out of wealth and poverty?
- Are people poor for a short time or is it persistent? Research based on british household panel survey. People reinterviewed every year about income, work, education, family. Then its compared to enable understanding of the nature of poverty: is it persitent or temporary?
- Before the end of the 90s and after the end of the 90s - proportion of persistently poor has gone down to 10 from 15%.
- Number of people who are touched by poverty is much greater. The 1 year picture of persistent poverty very different to 4 year window of being touched by poverty.
- Not just helping people stuck at the bottom: aim is to help everyone spread through income distribution as everyone can be 'touched' by poverty and for . without research would be hard to understand issues. Aid politicians. Distribution: polaris actions (the haves and the have nots)
Persistence - is there a trap?! whats the liklihoos of a child borin into poverty being able to get out of it and escape?
Absence of social mobility - is there a liklihood of a child born into poverty to rise out of it and escape. Is poverty dynamic?
Maps: A different view of the UK
- We are used to a particular map of the UK but looking at the UK from space is not the best way to see its human geography.
Danny Dorling and his mapping:
Different maps show different disparities. Maps could show:
- Inequality through life expectancy
- Health – access to hospitals, post code
- There are all indicies of deprivation and data can be expressed on maps, tables and graphs
Danny Dorling Life Expectancy Calculator
What has an impact on Life Expectancy?
- Unskilled manual labour - wears you down and takes years off your life.
- Add a year if you drink in moderation, if you are a heavy drinker you could take off a few years.
- Never smoked add 3 years, if you smoke you add 4 years
- If you eat fruit and veg once a day add a year
- Height is connected to LE too! Taller people live longer.
- Numbers drop if you are homeless or on the street could take away 12-25 years.
Indices of Deprivation
Index of multiple deprivation: 38 separate indications across seven domains of deprivation: Income, Employment, Health and Disability, Education Skills and Training, Barriers to Housing and toher services, Crime and Living environment.
- The English Indices of deprivation 2010
- Scottish index of Multiple deprivation
- Welsh index of Mutiple deprivation
- Ward Level summary measures for London
Poverty definitions and rates
- Poverty is defined by the Government as ‘household income below 60% of median income’. The median is the income earned by the household in the middle of the income distribution.
- There are basically three current definitions of poverty in common usage: absolute poverty, relative poverty and social exclusion.
- Absolute poverty is defined as the lack of sufficient resources for daily life.
- Relative poverty defines income or resources in relation to the average. It is concerned with the absence of the material needs to participate fully in accepted daily life.
- Social exclusion is "…a shorthand label for what can happen when individuals or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems “ (e.g. multiple deprivation)
The UK is developed with large income differences throughout.
Gini coefficient: Relative vs. absolute
- National relative: the higher the number the greater the inequality
- The lower the number the smaller the inequality 0 = equal 1=very high disparity
- UK gini is 0.33 and Sweden is 0.25. Considerable difference.
Social inequality in the UK
- Life expectance (mortality and morbidity rates)
- Life-chances (from cradle to grave, e.g. child poverty, school choice, university admissions, housing career, access to healthcare, risk of assault/limiting illness)
- Life-practices (diet, fitness, mobility, debt, crime, addiction risk factors)
- Scales of analysis (problem of ecological fallacy): national, regional, metropolitan area or town, super output area (to focus on housing, schools, shops), household (income, jobs, dependents), individual (disability and well-being)
- In sum, how are poverty, inequality and deprivation experienced by individuals, families and communities?
Inequality: Danny Dorling 2005, 2012
"Poverty does not exist without affluence and affluence is not obvious without poverty. For people to be rich others have to be poor, but not necessarily in the same places. Studying inequality requires studying both rich and poor simulatneously. While there is a great deal of information available on poverty, there is very little that has been released on affluence in Britain." 2005
"Polarisation between rich and poor areas, as much as between rich and poor people, has been increasing since the 70's...wages and employment prospects at the bottom have collapsed while those at the top have goen through the roof" Hanley 2011
"Prison snetences and rising income and weakth inequalities still influence riots....until inequalitues begin to fall there will always be a next time" 2012