Mapping patterns of multiple deprivation using self-organising maps: An application to EU-SILC data for Ireland

Maurizio Pisati, Christopher T. Whelan, Mario Lucchini, Bertrand Maitre

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    The development of conceptual frameworks for the analysis of social exclusion has somewhat out-stripped related methodological developments. This paper seeks to contribute to filling this gap through the application of self-organising maps (SOMs) to the analysis of a detailed set of material deprivation indicators relating to the Irish case. The SOM approach allows us to offer a differentiated and interpretable picture of the structure of multiple deprivation in contemporary Ireland. Employing this approach, we identify 16 clusters characterised by distinct profiles across 42 deprivation indicators. Exploratory analyses demonstrate that, controlling for equivalised household income, SOM cluster membership adds substantially to our ability to predict subjective economic stress. Moreover, in comparison with an analogous latent class approach, the SOM analysis offers considerable additional discriminatory power in relation to individuals' experience of their economic circumstances. The results suggest that the SOM approach could prove a valuable addition to a 'methodological platform' for analysing the shape and form of social exclusion. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)405-418
    Number of pages14
    JournalInnovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Sociology and Political Science

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