9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN30 Youth and Generation

The living conditions of youth in Germany and the risk of relative deprivation

Poverty can reduce the opportunities for participation in social and economic life. For young people in particular, poor finances can constrain their development and socialisation opportunities. But there currently exists a consensus that being poor does not only mean a lack of financial resources. It means, more generally, a lack of resources enabling a basic standard of living and social participation. Therefore being poor is not only a question of low income but also of access to living conditions that are common in a given society. The deprivation approach focuses directly on living conditions and is widely accepted as an indicator of poverty. People are identified as poor if they cannot afford goods or social activities which are perceived as social necessities, for example a warm meal a day. In Germany there exist rare information about the relative deprivation of youth and young adults, despite the fact that they are a special risk group. One aim of the study is therefore to explore in more detail the access of youth and young adults to a commonly accepted standard of living. In a next step the study analyses risk factors of relative deprivation. Especially the household constellation and the employment status of the youth and young adults could play an important role for their living conditions. The analysis is based on the household panel 'Labour Market and Social Security' of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) which provides detailed informations about the living conditions of the youth. The analysis refers to a subsample of about 4000 youth and young adults between 15 and 29 years.