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Social class in later lifePower, identity and lifestyle$
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Marvin Formosa and Paul Higgs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300588

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300588.001.0001

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Measuring social class in later life

Measuring social class in later life

Chapter:
(p.53) Four Measuring social class in later life
Source:
Social class in later life
Author(s):

Lopes Alexandra

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447300588.003.0004

This chapter stems from an attempt to formulate alternative operational definitions of social class, taking into consideration the challenges of using the concept applied to the elderly. The chapter proposes the development of an operational definition of social class that combines a dynamic approach to trajectories in the labour market with indicators of control over resources, material and immaterial. The author argues for the interest of analyzing mechanisms of income protection as a tool to measure the ability of individuals to protect their status throughout the increasing number of years they are expected to live outside the labour market. On the other hand, the author also suggests composing an index of social capital that involves the consideration of three layers of social networking: the close family network (children in particular); the proximity network of friends and neighbours; and the community network understood in terms of participation in community organizations.

Keywords:   old age, social class, social mobility, social class typologies, resources, social capital, social participation, ageing

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