The life-course of the low-educated in the Netherlands: Social and economic risks
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ICS dissertation series ; 109
Number of pages
RU Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 1 december 2004
Promotor : Ultee, W.C. Co-promotores : Graaf, P.M. de, Kraaykamp, G.L.M.
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
Do low-educated people in the Netherlands experience social and economic risks? And if so, did their situation become more vulnerable over time and during the life-course? And how can we explain their higher levers of experienced risk? Answers to these questions are sought using large scale representative datasets, including retrospective information on educational, occupational, and social careers. Indeed, the low-educated do experience, sometimes disproportionate, difficulties in their social and economic lives. They work less often than high-educated individuals, more often become unemployed, occupy the least favorable jobs, experience more often downward occupational moves, and are less often able to improve their labor market career with favorable job moves. In addition, they less often vote for parliamentary elections, are politically less interested, read the newspaper less often, are less often member of societal organizations, and less often perform voluntary work for local organizations. In some cases, the already disadvantageous situation also becomes worse. Particularly low-educated women nowadays loose the battle on the labor market more often as compared to the past, and also during the life-course their relative position worsens. And regarding electoral participation and political interest, over time as well as during the life-course, both low-educated men and women prove to be in an increasingly unfavorable situation. An important explanation for the low-educated people's high level of social and economic risks is the difficulty to acquire additional resources when having no or insufficient qualifications. These additional resources, such as additional training, verbal ability, and partner's education, provide additional occupational and social opportunities, which low-educated people are therefore unlikely to get. But if they are able to acquire the additional resources, they prove to compensate to a large degree their lack of qualifications.
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