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Civic Involvement in Deprived Communities: A Longitudinal Study in England

23rd Nov 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

This study aims to understand how community material deprivation affects associational membership amongst its residents. We posit that, beside individual characteristics and willingness to engage, contemporaneous experiences of neighborhood deprivation may have complex effects on how much people devote time and energies to associational membership. We identify three mechanisms through which community deprivation can affect individual participation in political, civic, and work voluntary associations: social cohering, norms of civic obligation, and activated dissatisfaction. We link individual panel data from Understanding Society from 2009 to 2017 with the Index of Multiple Deprivation at neighborhood level from the Office of National Statistics. Our findings indicate that when it comes to the benefits of neighborhood social life, people already experiencing material lack are doubly disadvantaged. In the case of associational membership, individuals with low income and education are less likely to participate in voluntary associations in the first place, and the contextual effects of neighborhood deprivation exert a further external negative pressure on participation. Given the many economic and social capital benefits of associational involvement (Putnam, 2000), this produces an additive pattern of disadvantage creation.


About the Presenter

Franco Bonomi Bezzo is a post-doctoral researcher at La Statale, University of Milan, within the ERC project DESPO, working on the political and societal changes that have occurred as a consequence of European deindustrialisation. From January 2020 to March 2021 he was based at the Institut national d’études démographiques (INED) in Paris where he remains currently affiliated. Franco’s research interests lie at the intersection of economic and sociology. He is broadly interested in i) spatial inequality; ii) political economic sociology; iii) basic income models and post-work scenarios.  More specifically, Franco’s current research agenda focuses on investigating how local experiences of scarcity have an effect on individuals’ political and civic engagement,  understanding the links between parental background and offspring’s outcomes During the life-course,  studying the relationship between city shape and urban inequality, and on models of universal income under a post-work perspective. Franco received a PhD (2020) in applied socio and economic research from the Institute for Socio and Economic Research at the University of Essex and a MSc (2013) in Economics from the University of Trento.

Zoom Meeting Details
Meeting ID: 977 4456 2867
Passcode: 532562

Lunch to be served at 12:30 in the School of Economics Staff Lounge.


23rd Nov 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Amy Jephthah


UCT School of Economics, 4th Floor Seminar Room
UCT Middle Campus
Cape Town, Western Cape 7700 South Africa
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