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Storied Identities: Gendered Lives in Qualitative and Quantitative Research. BEDFORD GROUP FOR LIFECOURSE AND STATISTICAL STUDIES INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF LONDON Jane Elliott 12 December 2005. Main themes of presentation.
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BEDFORD GROUP FOR LIFECOURSE AND STATISTICAL STUDIES
INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Jane Elliott12 December 2005
1946: MRC National Survey of Health & Development
1958: National Child Development Study
1970: 1970 British Birth Cohort Study
MCS: Millennium Cohort Study the first national birth cohort study for 30 years (2000-1)
British Birth Cohort Studies
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 behaviourHypothetical life history
Women’s narratives were structured around the assumptions that :
So obviously, you know, we sort of stayed in this area because that\'s where his job was, really. (Annie)
He um did a PhD at Manchester. He did a BSc in biochemistry, then a PhD, and that\'s why we came down here on a three-year post-doc post. (Bridget)
He became qualified, and then we worked abroad, but he - well, in fact we both worked abroad, but we went because of his job abroad. (Debbie)
I was still at Manchester but then I stayed for my um solicitors\' exams because Mike, he had a fourth year of his degree to do in Manchester, and I was able to do my solicitors exams at Manchester Poly. (Frances)
Um, What I\'d said was, I\'d like to do more[work] after she (younger daughter) started school. But the girl who was doing the job in 1992 um... decided to go to New Zealand, I think, um so the job was being advertised as full-time. Again it was full-time or nothing. And so I decided to apply for it then, my thinking at that stage being um, if I don\'t apply now, um, there won\'t be another chance for maybe four or five years. (Bridget)
He\'d (son) be round perhaps about nine, nine-ish or something, eight, nine, ten, by the time I was starting to work in the evenings like that as well as my daytime work. But because he was that bit older, it wasn\'t too bad, and he had a babysitter that he loved, so that again, I didn\'t feel too much guilt about it. (Debbie)
I’m sure that this is a bit of skewed thinking on my behalf, but bear with me. I see myself as being the main care-giver. And so I see my salary as having to cover nursery fees at least. [right] You know? Um, and really it’s silly because, you know, there’s two parents involved here, and two salaries, and my husband’s salary is much, much bigger than mine. But even so, my salary does help us, and I think we’d struggle without my salary, even though it is quite a lot less than my husband’s. And so that was kind of a big factor. Would it - would my salary cover the nursery fees, if nothing else? (Debbie)
You can\'t be Miss Top of the ladder career woman when you\'ve got to take the day off at a moment\'s notice because a child\'s spent the night being sick. You know? Um, and that\'s very much the case. One of you\'s got to sort of at least be available to do that. And I mean my husband\'s job is the sort of job where, you know, he\'s got to go every day. It\'s not the kind of thing where he can work at home some of the time or, you know, fit round with other things (Annie)
Although Pete\'s a teacher - I think one partnership must be a teacher, it\'s a prerequisite with children, they get the holidays. So he\'s at home now in the Easter holidays with them. So that\'s not a problem. (Bridget)
I know that in some ways I\'ve chosen not to be the career one in the house, because - or the successful one, in terms of career, in the house. Um... because I really believe that one parent has to not be as career minded, if you\'ve got children. (Debbie)
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And I just always made it clear that I didn\'t want full-time there, I\'d made my mind up. I went through the process of making my mind up. But I knew on the day I left him (baby son) to go back to work that I didn\'t want to work full-time, and I\'d always said that - it also shows how attitudes have changed. Because she (manager) was adamant it wasn\'t - that it wasn\'t possible to do part-time, whereas the majority of people in my department now, with families anyway, are part-time, because that\'s what they want. (Interview with Bridget)
So I went back there three days a week (i.e. after the birth of her second child). There were lots of changes going on at the MRI at the time, and we ended up being - despite lots of changes, we ended up being better staffed than we had been for years and years and years…And so there was a little bit more leeway to negotiate for cutting down my hours. (Interview with Elaine)
I got terribly depressed when I was at home full-time with John, and I just knew I was really unhappy. So I did think about working. Um, but every time I thought about it, when you sort of - when I weighed up kind of what I would get as a secretary, as I would have to pay childminding fees etcetera, it - it always seemed to kind of be too much trouble to go to, to have very little money, if any, at the end of it. (Interview with Debbie).