The Road Less Travelled: Using Administrative Data To Understand Inequalities By Sexual Orientation

Francisco Perales  
Associate Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Science The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia


Understanding the processes contributing to equality of opportunity and outcomes in contemporary societies is at the core of the discipline of sociology. This paper illustrates the value of administrative data to underpin research aimed at identifying, monitoring, and addressing socio-economic disparities between population groups. To accomplish this, I draw on three case studies of recent empirical research leveraging administrative data to examine processes contributing to the (re)production of inequalities by sexual orientation. Collectively, the three case studies exemplify how data sources that fall within the broad category of ‘administrative data’ can help social researchers generate new, policy-relevant knowledge on socio-economic inequalities, as well as robust information to contextualize public and legislative debate. The paper concludes with a discussion of the promises and challenges of using administrative data to understand inequalities by sexual orientation, as well as inequalities between other minority and majority groups.


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How to Cite
Perales F. The Road Less Travelled: Using Administrative Data To Understand Inequalities By Sexual Orientation . LiC [Internet]. 2021Aug.29 [cited 2021Sep.26];37(2). Available from:

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