Sub-brand to go here. Social Participation and Identity: Combining quantitative longitudinal data with a qualitative investigation of a sub-sample of the 1958 cohort. Jane Elliott (CLS), Andrew Miles (CRESC), Sam Parsons (CLS) & Mike Savage (CRESC). www.cresc.ac.uk.
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Sub-brand to go here
Social Participation and Identity: Combining quantitative longitudinal data with a qualitative investigation of a sub-sample of the 1958 cohort
Jane Elliott (CLS), Andrew Miles (CRESC),
Sam Parsons (CLS) & Mike Savage (CRESC)
CLS is an ESRC Resource Centre based at the Institute of Education
Parents’ social class
Training and skills
1st Child 1984
Parental interest in school work
Psychological well being
Domestic division of labour
Working hours preferences
Free school meals
Maths and reading tests
Teachers’ assessment of child’s behaviour
% men and women participating at age 46 by social mobility
% men and women participating at age 46 by social mobility
(inc. hobbies and sports)
13. Starting with your childhood could you say a bit about
- what kind of child you were
- how you got on at school
- who had the most influence on your life
Followed by questions (14, 15, 16, 17) as prompts on other periods of the respondent’s life, depending on how their narrative develops
18. Summing up, what would you say have been the most important events or turning points in your life?
19. If you had to depict your life up to now by means of a diagram, which diagram would you choose (show line diagrams sheet and ask them to mark which one with a tick), or if none of these apply, can you draw a more representative pattern in the blank box?
Stable social class but evidence of upward housing mobility (from council estate to detached house with big garden)
Father partly skilled manual worker, cohort member self-employed electrician
…….came to the end of primary school and they put me down for a grammar school place and I said I didn’t want it. I said if I don’t get on with them here, I’m not going to get on with a whole school of them, so I went to the secondary modern school where me brothers had gone to.
…………occasionally you’d get invited round for tea and, you know, our family was sort of ‘take us as we are’ really, like, you know. But other people were, you know, you did sense a difference……………….
…………there was one lad over the road, he went to grammar school. But, you know, he lived in a council house like we did, like, you know, but it didn’t do him any better as a job, really. He ended up like, you know, he worked in a magistrate’s court, you know, as a court clerk, perhaps seen to be a good job but at the end of the day not very good money, you know. And to me being self-employed, to be honest with you, me world’s me oyster.
I don’t know what class I’d put meself in, really, but I don’t like it where people do distinguish one from another, really……say like ‘lower’ or ‘middle’ or anything. You find that sometimes when you get to the upper class some of them have had their brains removed, because they’re just so far from reality, to be honest with you.
Stable social class: no upward mobility
A coalman’s daughter who works in a beach-side café serving burgers and chips. Lived in same council estate all of her life
Working class. Working class. Coalman’s daughter and I’m proud of it. Aye, working class…………my mother was a snob, she was a snob, she was a Tory supporter. Aye, she was…………. my mother had delusions of grandeur…………. “queen”, “the queen”, that’s what he called her
…………..I’ve never had much. I’ve always had enough. You know, work hard for what I’ve got and got what I need. And I’ve never had the yearn to have fancies and go over the top………
Father held a professional/managerial job, cohort member is a maintenance manager (gas company)
it [the house grew up in] was in a really good area and my father had a good job, he had a better job than I’ve got now……….
Working class or middle-class? [Sighs] Not really. There’s so much on the radio about how the UK is class structured and perhaps we are, and there’s part of me that’s middle-class, I read a good newspaper and I listen to Radio Four and the World Service. That’s my middle-class………………….. now Elaine that works with me…….her husband is a gas fitter…..they blow their money and he’ll earn at least twice as much as me. Now I would say he’s probably middle/upper-class but they have the money to be middle-class, that’s if you’re looking at that, and they read The Sun…………..
Class and upward social mobility
Father was an aircraft engineer and cohort member is a teacher
I suppose as a family I considered us working class, although later when I learned the term ‘white collar’ I think actually that’s what we were [laughs], because my dad had a good job, but I think we’ve always thought of ourselves as working class and I still do really……….…… but I suppose if I looked at my life as you’re asking me to do now, then probably it would be more middle class.
[where I live]……it’s quite a middle class area and I suppose subconsciously I’ve thought of it as a step up really, because we grew up in a council house originally and then they bought the council house, but that wasn’t a conscious decision of why I wanted to live here, I just liked the area
……suppose when I first went to college that was a bit of a shock to me, meeting people I didn’t know from lots of different walks of life and I did--, I have to say I did feel like I was working class then and they were all educated people, or so I thought were more educated than me, you know, ‘cause I kind of thought that the Open University degree wasn’t as good as if I’d gone to the university for three years. I don’t believe that now but at the time I did.
Being part of NCDS
There’s one thing I’m guaranteed, all of my entire life, is one birthday card.
I’ve always liked being part of it, I’ve always enjoyed being part of it because it’s different and I’m quite proud of it really.
I think I could almost put this in as a landmark in my life.
I haven’t kidded on about anything in my life, warts and all, I’ve been honest and I’ve said it all.
….. I think, you know, it does make you feel special in certain ways, like really…..
I haven’t ever seen anything negative in it actually, not anything negative at all…..I’ve always felt comfortable and I always know that if I don’t want to answer a question I don’t have to………… I think it’s just been fascinating.
Recognising the importance of NCDS
I can remember becoming part of the NCDS, I didn’t understand it.... I think I’ve just grown to understand it more as I’ve got older and the importance of it and how it’s helping everybody really, that’s what I think.
Well, I think to a certain extent you’ve got to say it’s mainly for helping others, you know. Like you say it’s no benefit to me to do it, but then again it’s no skin off my nose not to do it, so. It’s one of those things like, you know….I don’t see a reason [not to]……
People should take the time and know things about people really, and if it did that, you know, we wouldn’t have half the problems that we do have really, today really, so.
I think it’s interesting that they’re actually following all these people, right through their life and ……they find out comparisons. Aye, I think it’s really…. that’s why I take the bother to, aye, come. I want to be part of it because I’ve been in it all my life.
…..oh I’ll tell them all, I’m quite proud of the fact that I’m [in the study], that they can find out on how people’s lived and compare.
NCDS over the lifecourse
I remember……when I was about 11 doing something and doing questions, and the thing I remember is that your favourite TV programmes and I had Sports Reel which in England they wouldn’t have known about, you had Match of the Day, we had Sports Reel, …… and I also put something like Panorama, I thought, ‘I’ll show you’………
I can remember…would I be six…..and they had me hopping and you had to hop on each leg…..and I can remember they had a paper carton for you to look through, close one eye and I could only do it with one eye, and I remember getting embarrassed that I couldn’t close this other eye and look…….. I tell folk about it [now] and …… I tell them about the eyes and it’s my party piece kind of thing. “Try this,” I’ve actually got toilet roll things out and made folk do it…..[laughs]….So I’ve had a bit of fun with it along…..
No cons, no cons [inaudible 1:26:30], and I would probably think that in doing it, it gives you a chance to think about yourself…………. I don’t know if it’s deliberately done at certain stages in your life, but 50 I think’s quite a big milestone and a bit of thinking going on
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