Meso-level and policy mechanisms of vulnerability - IP1

In the LIVES framework, coping with vulnerability consists of a dynamic between resources and stressors, whereby individual agency is situated within social structure. The “agency within structure” paradigm seeks to study the individual strategies that lead attain biographical outcomes (or effects on people’s lives). It also explores how these strategies are fostered, constrained or otherwise interact with the social context.

Individuals interact on a daily basis in various formal or informal social groups, networks, neighbourhoods, social policy agents or communities that belong to the meso-level (intermediate level between the micro - individual - and the macro - societal). The main weakness of the “agency within structure” approach relying on macro and micro models is their difficulty in explaining mechanisms. At the meso-level we aim to understand mechanisms related to vulnerabilisation by examining how individuals with less resources act within formal and informal meso-level groups in order to gain coping resources. Specifically, we address the two-sidedness of policy and meso-level factors which are often both including and excluding; they can enhance resilience or reinforce vulnerability.

IP1-Meso-level seeks to address three gaps in the state-of-the-art literature:

  1. Depth of analysis of meso-level and policy mechanisms of vulnerabilisation.
  2. Interdisciplinary perspective of many analyses at the meso-level.
  3. Theoretical systematization of meso-level influences on vulnerability processes. Combining psychology, economics, social demography and sociology in research teams and by explicitly formulating interdisciplinary research questions and hypotheses, we aim to deepen the understanding of mechanisms of vulnerability.

Research questions

How do various dimensions of group membership and personal networks facilitate or hinder successful coping with life-course challenges?

Vulnerability is often associated with future, present or past change in the individual’s social contexts, which generate a significant amount of uncertainty. While social norms defined by group identities and network memberships may amplify and consolidate processes of vulnerabilisation, they may also be helpful in coping with disadvantages.

How do communities influence the dynamics of vulnerabilisation?

Meso-level contexts such as neighbourhoods have an important influence on the effects of structural variables, such as gender, age or social class. Our research will study which networks people mobilise in times of hardship in relation with their neighbourhood and how these interact with the socio-economic resources lodged with them.

How do social policies promote or hinder coping with vulnerability?

Social policies convey normative and cognitive expectations that impede taking proper account of the various dimensions of the life trajectories of beneficiaries. As such, they act as misleading norms with ambivalent effects on disadvantaged people and their ability to cope with vulnerability. We aim to identify the mechanisms of this ambivalence in the interplay between meso-level structures and individual agency.

Team

Leaders

Prof. Jean-Michel Bonvin (University of Geneva)
Prof. Leen Vandecasteele (University of Lausanne)

Professors
  • UNIL: Felix Bühlmann, Dario Spini, Christian Staerklé, Flavia Fossati
  • UNIGE: Jean-Michel Bonvin, Eric Widmer
  • HES-SO: Isabelle Probst, Jean-Pierre Tabin
Researchers and post-docs
  • UNIL: Nora Dasoki, Guy Elcheroth, Jacques-Antoine Gauthier, Davide Morselli, Nicolas Sommet, Mattia Vacchiano, Katy Morris, Sandra Penic
  • UNIGE: Emilie Rosenstein
  • FORS: Marlène Sapin
Doctoral students
  • UNIL: Leïla Eisner, Adar Hoffman, Jad Moawad, Sandrine Morel, Anahita Mehrpour, Fei Bian, Vera De Bel 
  • UNIGE: Max Lovey
  • HES-SO: Frédérique Leresche
  • FHNW: Yann Bochsler

Publications

Selected publications

Other publications

Laruffa, F. (2018). Social investment: Diffusing ideas for redesigning citizenship after neo-liberalism?. Critical Social Policy, 38, 688–706. doi:10.1177/0261018317749438
Butera, F., Sommet, N., & Darnon, C.. (2019). Sociocognitive conflict regulation: How to make sense of diverging ideas. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 28, 145–151. doi:10.1177/0963721418813986
Gordils, J., Sommet, N., Elliot, A. J., & Jamieson, J. P.. (2019). Racial income inequality, perceptions of competition, and negative interracial outcomes. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 194855061983700. doi:10.1177/1948550619837003
Laruffa, F. (2019). Towards a post-neoliberal social policy? social investment versus capability approach. Momentum Quarterly - Zeitschrift für sozialen Fortschritt, 7, 171. doi:10.15203/momentumquarterly.vol7.no4.p171-187
Bonvin, J. - M., & Perrig, L.. (2020). Implementing Social Justice within Activation Policies: The Contribution of the Capability Approach. In A. Eleveld, Kampen, T., & Arts, J. (Eds.), Welfare to work in contemporary European welfare states. Legal, sociological and philosophical perspectives on Justice and Domination. Bristol, UK: Policy Press. Retrieved from https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/welfare-to-work-in-contemporary-europe
Bonvin, J. - M. (2019). Vocational Education and Training Beyond Human Capital: A Capability Approach. In S. McGrath, Mulder, M., Papier, J., & Suart, R. (Eds.), Handbook of Vocational Education and Training (pp. 1–17). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94532-3_5
Bonvin, J. - M., & Laruffa, F.. (2019). Education as investment? A comparison of the capability and social investment approaches to education policy. In M. A. Yerkes, Javornik, J., & Kurowska, A. (Eds.), Social Policy and the Capability Approach: Concepts, Measurements and Application (1st ed.). Policy Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctvjf9v8g
Bonvin, J. - M. (2019). The marketisation of public employment and public services and its impact on civil servants and citizens. In A. Serrano-Pascual & Jepsen, M. (Eds.), The deconstruction of employment as a political question: employment as a floating signifier (pp. 199–219). London, UK: Palgrave. Retrieved from https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319936161
Fillieule, O. (2019). Addendum: Life history as a tool for sociological inquiry. In Activists forever? Long-term impacts of political activism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/activists-forever/addendum/44191CA12362D3A93BB45762CA598324
Bonvin, J. - M. (2019). Préface. In Travailler dans la grande distribution. La journée de travail va-t-elle redevenir une question sociale? (pp. 11–14). Zurich, Switzerland: Seismo. Retrieved from https://www.seismoverlag.ch/fr/search/?q=pr%C3%A9face
Neveu, E., & Fillieule, O.. (2019). Activists’ trajectories in space and time: An introduction. In Activists Forever? Long-term impacts of political activism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108690928.001
Filleule, O., & Sommier, I.. (2018). Marseille en mutation, 1966-1989. In Marseille, années 68. Paris, France: Presses de sciences po. Retrieved from http://www.pressesdesciencespo.fr/fr/livre/?GCOI=27246100851270
Sommet, N., Morselli, D., & Spini, D.. (2018). Income inequality affects the psychological health of only the people facing scarcity. Psychological Science, 29, 1911–1921. doi:10.1177/0956797618798620
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Giudici, F., & Morselli, D.. (2019). 20 years in the world of work: A study of (nonstandard) occupational trajectories and health. Social Science & Medicine, 224, 138–148. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.02.002
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Ryser, V. - A., & Le Goff, J. - M.. (2018). The transition to marriage for cohabiting couples: Does it shape subjective well-being and opinions or attitudes toward family?. In R. Tillmann, Voorpostel, M., & Farago, P. (Eds.), Social Dynamics in Swiss Society: Empirical studies based on the Swiss Household Panel (Vol. 9, pp. 47–59). Cham-Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-89557-4_4
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Aubel, O., Lefèvre, B., Le Goff, J. - M., & Taverna, N.. (2018). Doping risk and career turning points in male elite road cycling (2005–2016). Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2018.03.003
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Bühlmann, F.. (2018). Trajectories of vulnerability: A sequence-analytical approach. In R. Tillmann, Voorpostel, M., & Farago, P. (Eds.), Social Dynamics in Swiss Society (pp. 129–144). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-89557-4_9
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Morselli, D., & Passini, S.. (2018). Exclusive and inclusive protest in Europe: Investigating values, support for democracy, and life conditions. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 1-19. doi:10.1002/casp.2345
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Mugny, G., Colparet, L., Lalot, F., Quiamzade, A., & Sommet, N.. (2017). Enjeux identitaires dans l’évaluation entre pairs : compétition sociale symbolique et menace de la compétence.. In C. Staerklé & Butera, F. (Eds.), Conflits constructifs, conflits destructifs. Regards psychosociaux (pp. 67–84). Switzerland: Editions Antipodes.
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Bolzman, C., Le Goff, J. - M., & Bernardi, L.. (2017). Introduction: situating children of migrants across borders and origins. In C. Bolzman, Bernardi, L., & Le Goff, J. - M. (Eds.), Situating children of Migrants across Borders and Origins. A Methodological Overview (pp. 1–21). Berlin, Germany: Cham-Heidelberg: Springer.
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Vatz-Laaroussi, M., Le Gall, J., Bolzman, C., & Rachédi, L.. (2016). Reconfigurations familiales et relations intergénérationnelles dans les réseaux transnationaux. In M. Vatz-Laaroussi (Ed.), Dynamiques familiales, sociojuridiques et citoyennes dans la migration (L'Harmattan., pp. 59–82). Paris.
Fillieule, O., & Sommier, I.. (2018). Marseille années 68. Paris, France: Les Presses de Sciences Po.
Morselli, D., Le Goff, J. - M., & Gauthier, J. - A.. (2018). Self-administered event history calendars: a possibility for surveys?. Contemporary Social Science, 1–24. doi:10.1080/21582041.2017.1418528
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Buchs, C., Wiederkehr, V., Filippou, D., Sommet, N., & Darnon, C.. (2015). Structured cooperative learning as a means for improving average achievers' mathematical learning in fractions. Inovacije u nastavi - časopis za savremenu nastavu (Teaching Innovations), 28, 15–35. doi:10.5937/inovacije1503015B
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Sommet, N., Pillaud, V., Meuleman, B., & Butera, F.. (2017). The socialization of performance goals. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 49, 337–354. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2017.03.008
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Brändle, K.. (2017). The geography of social links among a young cohort in Switzerland. LIVES Working Paper, 58, 1-31. doi:10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2017.58
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Levy, R., & Le Goff, J. - M.. (2016). Préface. Quid de la sexuation des parcours de vie. In J. - M. Le Goff & Levy, R. (Eds.), Devenir parents, devenir inégaux. Transition à la parentalité et inégalités de genre (First., pp. 9-23). Zürich, Switzerland: Seismo.
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Le Goff, J. - M., & Girardin, N.. (2016). Répartition des tâches domestiques et de soins aux enfants. Intentions et pratiques. In J. - M. Le Goff & Levy, R. (Eds.), Devenir parents, devenir inégaux. Transition à la parentalité et inégalités de genre (First., pp. 76-109). Zürich, Switzerland: Seismo.
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Madero Cabib, I., & Fasang, A.. (2016). Gendered work-family life courses and financial well-being in retirement. Advances in Life Course Research, 27, 43-60. doi:10.1016/j.alcr.2015.11.003
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Sarrasin, O. (2016). Gender differences in the acceptance of the Muslim headscarf. In K. Faniko, Lorenzi-Cioldi, F., Sarrasin, O., & Mayor, E. (Eds.), Gender and Social Hierarchies: Perspectives from social psychology (pp. 159–174). New York, USA: Routledge.
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Sarrasin, O., Fasel, N., & Green, E.. (2016). Critical views of the nation, national attachment, and attitudes toward immigrants in Switzerland. In P. Schmidt, Seethaler, J., Grimm, J., & Huddy, L. (Eds.), Dynamics of national identity: Media and societal factors of what we are (pp. 192-205). London, united Kingdom: Routledge.
Potarca, G. (2017). Does the internet affect assortative mating? Evidence from the U.S. and Germany. Social Science Research, 61(2017), 278-297. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.06.019
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Passini, S., & Morselli, D.. (2017). Construction and Validation of the Moral Inclusion/Exclusion of Other Groups (MIEG) Scale. Social Indicators Research, 134, 1195–1213. doi:10.1007/s11205-016-1458-3
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Barbeiro, A., & Spini, D.. (2017). Calendar interviewing: a mixed methods device for a biographical aproach to migration. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 14(1), 81-107. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2016.1249581
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Struffolino, E., & Bernardi, L.. (2017). Vulnerability of Lone Mothers over the Life Course in Switzerland. LIVES Working Paper, 60, 1-28. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2017.60
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Rossignon, F., Studer, M., Gauthier, J. - A., & Le Goff, J. - M.. (2016). Childhood co-residence structure and home-leaving. In G. Ritschard & Studer, M. (Eds.), Procedings of the International conference on sequence analysis and related methods (LaCOSA II) (pp. 383-428). Lausanne: NCCR LIVES.
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Ganjour, O., Gauthier, J. - A., Le Goff, J. - M., & Studer, M.. (2016). Gender inequality regarding retirement benefits. In G. Ritschard (Ed.), Procedings of the International conference on sequence analysis and related methods (LaCOSA II) (pp. 693-716). Lausanne, Switzerland: NCCR LIVES.
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Le Goff, J. - M. (2016). A phase type model of cohabiting union duration. In G. Ritschard & Studer, M. (Eds.), Procedings of the International conference on sequence analysis and related methods (LaCOSA II) (pp. 693-716). Lausanne: NCCR LIVES. Retrieved from https://lacosa.lives-nccr.ch/sites/lacosa.lives-nccr.ch/files/lacosa2-proceedings.pdf
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Levy, R., & Bühlmann, F.. (2016). Towards a socio-structural framework for life course analysis. Advances in Life Course Research, 30, 30-42.
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Eicher, V., Bakouri, M., Staerklé, C., Carvalhosa Barbosa, M., & Clémence, A.. (2016). Studying youth transitions through a social network: First impressions. In M. Oris, Roberts, C., Joye, D., & Ernst Stähli, M. (Eds.), Surveying human vulnerabilities across the life course (pp. 201-219). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-24157-9_9
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Morselli, D., Dasoki, N., Gabriel, R., Gauthier, J. - A., Henke, J., & Le Goff, J. - M.. (2016). Using life history calendars to survey vulnerability. In M. Oris, Roberts, C., Joye, D., & Ernst Stähli, M. (Eds.), Surveying human vulnerabilities across the life course (pp. 177-199). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-24157-9_8
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Bolzman, C. (2015). Immigrant social workers and transnational practices: The example of Latin American living in Switzerland. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 13(3), 281-301. doi:10.1080/15562948.2015.1063745
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Boccagni, P., Righard, E., & Bolzman, C.. (2015). Mapping transnationalism: Transnational social work with migrants. Transnational Social Review, 5(3), 312-319. doi:10.1080/21931674.2015.1101243
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Bolzman, C. (2015). Migrations contemporaines et nouvelles figures de l’étranger précarisé. In P. Fantozzi, Fedele, V., & Garofalo, S. (Eds.), Le sfide del multiculturalismo. Tra teorie e prassi (pp. 25-33). Soveria Mannelli, Italy: Rubbettino Editore.
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Penic, S., Elcheroth, G., & Spini, D.. (2016). When is collective exposure to war events related to more acceptance of collective guilt?. Journal of Conflict Resolution, Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0022002716645388
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Morselli, D., & Passini, S.. (2015). Measuring prosocial attitudes for future generations: The social generativity scale. Journal of Adult Development, 22(3), 173-182. doi:10.1007/s10804-015-9210-9
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Rossignon, F. (2015). Different pathways out of the parental home: A gender perspective. LIVES Working Papers, 2015(45), 1-33. doi:10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2015.45
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Rossignon, F. (2015). Family structure and home-leaving: A life course perspective. LIVES Working Papers, 2015(41), 1-35. doi:10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2015.41
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Bakouri, M., & Staerklé, C.. (2015). Individual and collective empowerment through ingroup connectedness. LIVES Working Papers, 2015(40), 1-28. doi:10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2015.40
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Barbeiro, A., & Spini, D.. (2015). Calendar interviewing: a mixed methods device for a life course approach to migration. LIVES Working Papers, 2015(39), 1-32. doi:10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2015.39
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Madero Cabib, I. (2015). The life course determinants of vulnerability in late careers. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 6(1), 88-106. doi:10.14301/llcs.v6i1.299
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Gauthier, J. - A., Bühlmann, F., & Blanchard, P.. (2014). Introduction: Sequence analysis in 2014. In P. Blanchard, Bühlmann, F., & Gauthier, J. - A. (Eds.), Advances in sequence analysis: Theory, methods, applicatons (pp. 1-20). Amsterdam: Springer.
Le Goff, J. - M., & Ryser, V. - A.. (2013). Mariage et union consensuelle avec enfant en Suisse. In D. Tabutin & Masquelier, B. (Eds.), Ralentissements, résistances et ruptures dans les transitions démographiques. Actes de la Chaire Quételet 2010 (pp. 157-172). Louvain-la-Neuve: UCL-Presses Universitaires de Louvain.
Giudici, F., & Pallas, A. M.. (2014). Social origins and post-high school institutional pathways: A cumulative dis/advantage approach. Social Science Research, 44, 103-113. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.11.004
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Sapin, M., Spini, D., & Widmer, E.. (2014). Les parcours de vie. De l'adolescence au grand âge. Le savoir suisse (2ndnd ed.). Lausanne: Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes.
Morselli, D. (2013). The olive tree effect: Future time perspective when future is uncertain. Culture & Psychology, 19, 305-322. doi:10.1177/1354067X13489319
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Giudici, F., & Pallas, A. M.. (2014). Social origins and post-high school institutional pathways: A cumulative dis/advantage approach. LIVES Working Papers, 2014(30), 1-26. doi:10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2014.30
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Elcheroth, G., Corkalo Biruski, D., & Spini, D.. (2013). Conclusion – War and community: What have we learned about their relationship?. In D. Spini, Elcheroth, G., & Corkalo Biruski, D. (Eds.), War, community and social change. Collective experiences in the Former Yugoslavia (pp. 227-235). New York: Springer.
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Fasel, R., & Spini, D.. (2013). Shattered beliefs: How to cope when the world is not a just place?. In D. Spini, Elcheroth, G., & Corkalo Biruski, D. (Eds.), War, community and social change. Collective experiences in the Former Yugoslavia (pp. 183-198). New York: Springer.
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Spini, D., Elcheroth, G., & Fasel, R.. (2013). Towards a community approach of the aftermath of war in the Former Yugoslavia: Collective experiences, social practices, and representations. In D. Spini, Elcheroth, G., & Corkalo Biruski, D. (Eds.), War, community and social change. Collective experiences in the Former Yugoslavia (pp. 3-23). New York: Springer.
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Elcheroth, G., & Spini, D.. (2013). Beyond collective denial: Public reactions to human rights violations and the struggle over the moral continuity of communities. In D. Spini, Elcheroth, G., & Corkalo Biruski, D. (Eds.), War, community and social change. Collective experiences in the Former Yugoslavia (pp. 205-226). New York: Springer.
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Le Goff, J. - M., & Giudici, F.. (2013). The demise of mixed marriage?. In D. Spini, Elcheroth, G., & Corkalo Biruski, D. (Eds.), War, community and social change. Collective experiences in the Former Yugoslavia (pp. 63-84). New York: Springer.
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Morselli, D., & Passini, S.. (2013). Beyond ethnic intolerance: Traces and benefits of ethnic diversity in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. In D. Spini, Elcheroth, G., & Corkalo Biruski, D. (Eds.), War, community and social change. Collective experiences in the Former Yugoslavia (pp. 105-121). New York: Springer.
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Gauthier, J. - A., & Widmer, E.. (2013). The destruction of multiethnic locations: Markers of identity and the determinants of residential trajectories. In D. Spini, Elcheroth, G., & Corkalo Biruski, D. (Eds.), War, community and social change. Collective experiences in the Former Yugoslavia (pp. 85-98). New York: Springer.
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Joye, D., & Tillmann, R.. (2012). La pauvreté en Suisse entre 1999 et 2009: quelle évolution?. In J. - P. Tabin & Merrien, F. - X. (Eds.), Regards croisés sur la pauvreté (pp. 45-60). Lausanne: Éditions EESP.
Lalive d'Épinay, C., Bickel, J. - F., Cavalli, S., & Spini, D.. (2011). El curso de la vida: emergencia de un paradigma interdisciplinario. In J. A. Yuni (Ed.), La vejez en el curso de la vida (pp. 11-30). Córdoba: Encuentro Grupo Editor.