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Moving forward from the riots: A comparative community investigation into socioeconomic status, social capital and life satisfaction

Pedley, Ashleigh (2013) Moving forward from the riots: A comparative community investigation into socioeconomic status, social capital and life satisfaction. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study aimed to explore contributing factors of the 2011 riots, specifically the instigators of social inequalities. The previously acknowledged relationships between socioeconomic status, social capital and life satisfaction were investigated. Furthermore, category variables pertaining to the riots (emotional affect, inequalities and hopefulness) were explored in relation to the continuous life measures. Socioeconomic status was a combined measure of occupational status (Office for National Statistics, 2010a), educational qualifications (Office for National Statistics, 2010b) and annual income (HM Revenue and Customs, 2012); consistent with Weber’s (1946) approach to social class. Social capital (Renzaho et al., 2012) and life satisfaction (Neto, 1992), were measured using previously developed scales. Seventy-four Greater Manchester residents (M = 37, F = 37) of all ages completed the online questionnaire. Pearson’s correlation, independent-sample t-tests and standard multiple regression analysis, were employed to assess the relationships between-measures and to explore the differences between-subjects. Socioeconomic status and social capital positively correlated with life satisfaction (p < .01). Hopefulness correlated with high levels of all three continuous life measures (p < .05). This research demonstrates that socioeconomic status and social capital are significant determinants of life satisfaction. Implications for; government policies, reducing social problems and narrowing social inequalities are discussed.

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