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Capturing the social fabric: Population-scale socio-economic segregation patterns

3 November 2022 , 16:15 17:15 CET

Conference talk by Yuliia Kazmina at the Odissei Conference for Social Science in the Netherlands 2022 in session 4.1.

Segregation is a widely studied issue traditionally explored from the point of the spatial distribution of different groups as defined by any individual attribute such as race, religion, social class, etc. Nevertheless, we argue that the issues of persistent segregation, specifically socio-economic segregation, are networked phenomena and should be studied as such. In this paper, we make a methodological contribution that would allow the scholarship and policymakers to move away from a traditional spatial understanding of segregation that ignores interactions beyond neighborhoods and shift the focus of segregation measurement to the social network aspect applied to a diverse set of previously unexplored distinct social contexts.

The study is based on the Dutch population register data sourced from multiple existing sub-registers that contain information on formal ties and affiliations of ~17 million legal residents in multiple social contexts such as kinship, household, neighborhood, school, and work. With the multiplex network of geospatially embedded formal ties in hand, we aim to observe to what extent areas of social segregation are clustered in geospatially embedded social networks, and how each network layer contributes to the issue. More specifically, we measure to what extent Dutch residents in different municipalities are exposed to individuals of different socio-economic statuses in diverse social contexts and what social contexts provide diverse social contact opportunities with respect to the socio-economic status and, on the contrary, what social contexts play a role of socio-economic bubbles. Our findings suggest great heterogeneity in socio-economic assortativity between different social contexts (the layers of the analysed network) as well as different municipalities.