||Families, Social Mobility and Ageing, an Intergenerational Approach, 1900-1988
|| Thompson, P., University of Essex. Department of Sociology
Thompson, P., University of Essex. Department of Sociology
Newby, H., University of Essex. Department of Sociology
Economic and Social Research Council
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Family life and marriage - Social stratification and groupings
Social and occupational mobility - Social stratification and groupings
|This is an enhanced qualitative study.
The study sought to combine two normally separate fields of study, family life and social mobility. It examined connections between them through in-depth life story interviews. The objective of the research was to produce a sample-based investigation of ordinary families and normal processes of inter-generational influences with which to compare them.
The study explored geographical and social mobility and the role of the family in inter-generational terms from the perspective of gender and migration. Participants were asked extensive questions relating to their own, and their family's, education, politics, family tree, marriage and relationships, housing, parents' work, and leisure.
The fieldwork strategy selected a 'middle generation' of men and women aged 30 to 55 and married with children. Where possible an older or younger (over 16) member of the family was additionally interviewed. The middle generation informants were initially drawn from a subsample of informants interviewed for an ESRC stagflation project who had agreed to been re-interviewed. They were located in 200 polling districts in 35 parliamentary constituencies in Scotland, London, north-west, west and south-east England and the Midlands. Further polling districts were added and a stratified occupational quota was introduced to ensure an appropriate class balance. The collection consists of interviews with 170 informants. Of these, 87 were middle generation, 42 younger, and 41 were older generation informants. The families included 26 represented by a lone informant and 11 where three generations were interviewed. The interviews average 54 pages in length.
The collection was deposited on paper. It was enhanced through scanning, proof-reading and anonymisation of the original transcripts. Usability of the transcripts was further enhanced through reformatting of the layout, the insertion of XML speaker tags and eventual conversion to searchable Word and RTF formats.
Further information on the project is available through Qualidata Online
The survey was carried out with the purpose of gathering ethnographic and dynamic information illustrative of family, ageing, and social mobility. The semi-structured interview transcripts combine accounts of family background and occupations with full life stories covering education, politics, family tree, marriage and relationships, housing, parents' work, and leisure.
Thompson, P. R. (1992) 'I don't feel old : subjective ageing and the search for meaning in later life', Ageing and Society, 12(2).
Thompson, P. R. (1993) 'Family myth, models and denials in the shaping of individual lifepaths' in P. R. Thompson and D. Bertaux, D. (eds.) Between generations, London: Oxford University Press.
Thompson, P. R., Itzen, C. and Abendstern, M. (1990) I don't feel old : later life then and now, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 0-19820-147-8.
Thompson, P. R., 'I don't feel old : subjective ageing and the search for meaning in later life', paper presented at the World Congress of Sociology, Madrid, July 1990.