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Christopher Whelan

photo of professor Christopher Whelan


I Joined the School of Sociology & Sociology Policy as a Professor of Sociology on 1 September. I was formerly. Head of the School of Sociology at University College Dublin.
I am currently an Emeritus Professor at UCD and a Senior Fellow at the Geary Institute.

I was formerly a Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin. I acted as Chair of the Standing Committee for the Social Sciences of the European Science Foundation from 2002 to 2006 and of the Governing Council of the EU Economic Change, Quality of Life and Social Cohesion (EQUALSOC) Network of Excellence from 2005-2009. I was Chair of the European Consortium for Sociological Research 2009 - August 2012.

My research interests include the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality, quality of life and social mobility and inequality of opportunity. I have published on these topics in leading international academic journals and have contributed as author and editor to a number of volumes dealing with economic and social change in Ireland. I am Member of the Royal Irish Academy, associate editor of the European Sociological Review and a member of the editorial board of Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. I took my primary degree in Psychology at UCD before taking an M.Sc in Sociology from LSE and a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of London. My research interests have evolved over time to cover industrial sociology, social stratification and social mobility, values, poverty and social exclusion and the life cycle.


Research Interests

I have been involved as Coordinator and Principal Investigator in a range of large scale national and European projects. 

My research agenda includes a range of  projects that include a comparative European analysis of economic vulnerability, a comparison of national and European approaches to poverty and social exclusion, measuring deprivation in the European Union, conceptualisation and measurement of multiple deprivation, understanding the impact of social origins on educational outcomes, the consequences of low pay, analysis of new and old social risks, multidimensional measurement of poverty and the role of the EU poverty target.
I am currently part a team of researchers led by Professor Brian Nolan, UCD, working on the FP project GINI (Growing Inequalities Impact) involving six European partners and a wide range of international associates.  I am also working with colleagues at the Economic on Social Research Institute, Dublin on a project funded by the Department of Social Protection relating to In Work Poverty in Ireland.

I have recently been involved as an Evaluator for the EU in relation to the European Social Survey mid-term review & application for European Research Infrastructure Consortium Status 

Recent Publications


Nolan, B, and Whelan, C.T. (2011) Poverty and Deprivation in Europe . Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Peer Reviewed Journals

Whelan, C. T. & Maître, B. (forthcoming), Material Deprivation, Economic Stress & Reference Groups: An Analysis of EU-SILC 2009, European Sociological Review

Pintelon, O., Cantillon, B., van den Bosch, K. and Whelan, C. T. (forthcoming), The Social Stratification of Social Risks: Class and Responsibility in the New Welfare State, Journal of European Social Policy

Whelan, C. T. & Maitre, B. (2012) 'Identifying Childhood Deprivation: How Well Do National Indicators of Poverty Perform'. Economic and Social Review, 43 (2):251-272.

Whelan, C. T., Nolan, B. & Maitre, B. (2012) 'Analysing Intergenerational Influences on Income Poverty and Economic Vulnerability with EU-SILC'. European Societies , .

Whelan. C. T. & Maitre, B. (2012) 'Understanding Material deprivation: A Comparative European Analysis'. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, http://dx.doi:10.1016/rssm.2012.05.001 .

Russell, H., Whelan, C. T., Maitre, B. (2012) 'Economic Vulnerability and the Severity of Debt Problems: An Analysis of the Irish EU-SILC 2008'. European Sociological Review, doi: 10.1093/esr/jcs048 .

Maitre, B., Nolan, B. and Whelan, C. T. ; (2012) 'Low Pay, in Work Poverty and Economic Vulnerability: A Comparative Analysis Using EU-SILC'. The Manchester School, 80 (1):99-116.

Whelan, C. T. and Maître, B; (2010) 'Poverty in Ireland in Comparative Perspective'. Social Indicators Research, 95 (1):91-110.

Smyth, E., Whelan, C. T., McCoy, S., Quail, A, & Doyle, E.; (2010) 'Understanding Parental Influence on Educational Outcomes Among 9-year Olds in Ireland: The mediating Role of Resources, Attitudes and Children's Own Resources'. Child Indicators Research, 3 (1):85-104.

Nolan, B and Whelan, C. T.; (2010) 'Using Non-Monetary Deprivation Indicators to Analyze Poverty and Social Exclusion: Lessons from Europe?'. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29 (2):305-325.

Pisati, M., Whelan, C. T., Lucchini, M. & Maitre, B.; (2010) 'Mapping Patterns of Multiple Deprivation Using Self-Organising Maps: An Application to EU-SILC Data'. Social Science Research, 39 (3):405-418.

Whelan, Christopher, T. and Maitre, Bertrand; (2010) 'Comparing Poverty Indicators in an Enlarged EU'. European Sociological Review, 26 (6):713-730.

Whelan, C. T. and Maitre, B. ; (2010) 'Identifying Economic Vulnerable Groups as the Economic Crisis Emerged'. Economic and Social Review, 41 (4):501-525.

Whelan, C. T. and Maitre, B.; (2010) 'Welfare Regime and social class variation in poverty and economic vulnerability in Europe: an Analysis of EU-SILC'. Journal of European Social Policy, 20 (4):316-332.

Whelan, C. T., Lucchini, M., Pisati, M. and Maitre, B.; (2010) 'Understanding the socio-economic distribution of multiple deprivation: An application of self-organising maps'. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 28 (3):325-342.

McGinnity, F. and Whelan, C. T,; (2009) 'Comparing Work Life Conflict in Europe: Evidence from the European Social Survey'. Social Indicators Research, 93 :433-444.

Whelan, C. T. and Maître, B ; (2009) 'Europeanization of Inequality and European Reference Groups'. Journal of European Social Policy, 19 (2):117-130.

Whelan, C. T. and Maître, B ; (2009) 'The Europeanization of Reference Groups: A Reconsideration Using EU-SILC'. European Societies, 11 (2):283-309.

Layte, R. and Whelan, C. T.; (2009) 'Explaining Social Class Inequalities in Smoking: The Role of Education, Self-Efficacy and Deprivation'. European Sociological Review, 25 (4):399-410.

Whelan, C. T. and Maître, B. ; (2008) 'Social Class and Risk: A Comparative Analysis of the Dynamics of Economic Vulnerability¿'. British Journal of Sociology , 60 (4):637-659.

Whelan, C. T. and Maître, B ; (2008) '`New; and `Old Social Risks: Life Cycle and Social Class Perspectives on Social Exclusion in Ireland'. Economic and Social Review, 39 (2):139-156.