Marginalization, deprivation, and fatalism in the Republic of Ireland. Class and underclass perspectives

C T Whelan

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    The emergence of large-scale long-term unemployment in the Republic of Ireland suggests that it might provide an interesting case to which to apply the concept of an 'underclass'. In this paper we explore the relationship between labour-market marginality, deprivation, and fatalism. The available evidence in relation to both social isolation and milieu effects suggests that the term 'underclass' can have only a very limited applicability in the Irish case. Instead, what we ate confronted with is different types of working-class marginalization arising from the rapid and uneven nature of class transformation in Ireland and changing patterns of emigration. In relation to what we have termed 'pervasive marginalization' the costs of economic change have been borne disproportionately by those members of the younger cohorts originating in the lower working class rather than by those in particular locations. The evidence relating to the social and psychological consequences of labour-market detachment, rather than providing support for the value of an 'underclass' perspective, confirms the continued relevance of class analysis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)33-51
    Number of pages19
    JournalEuropean Sociological Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - May 1996


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