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Archive for the 'Social sciences and social policy' Category

Friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours play a vital role in responding to domestic abuse

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 November 2022

Karen Schucan Bird, Carol Rivas, Martha Tomlinson, Nicola Stokes, Patricia Melgar Alcantud, Maria Vieites Casado.

Friday 25 November marks the start of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and we reflect on the crucial role that we, as colleagues, friends, family, or community members, can play in responding to domestic abuse. Women who experience abuse may tell someone within their familial or social network about their situation. Since estimates suggest that one in three women experience abuse in their lifetime, many of us will be the person told and our response can be vital. Evidence suggests that supportive reactions from friends and family can improve the wellbeing of victims and support further help-seeking.

The pandemic highlighted the crucial role that friends, family and colleagues can play. But research tells us that there are (more…)

IOE at 120: Britain’s birth cohort studies find their home, 1992-2002

Blog Editor, IOE Digital26 October 2022

A selection of birthday cards sent to members of the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohort studies in the 1990s.

A selection of birthday cards sent to members of the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohort studies in the 1990s.

This blog is the 10th in a series of 12 exploring each decade in IOE’s history in the context of the education and society of the times. Find out more about our 120th anniversary celebrations on our website, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with everything that’s happening. 

Meghan Rainsberry.

The 1990s was a decade in history when two great pillars of British social science came together – IOE, and the British birth cohort studies.

Following generations of Britons from cradle to grave, birth cohort studies have been a unique feature of medical and social science in Britain since the original birth cohort study was established in 1946. It was a first for Britain, and the world.

Today, the successors of the 1946 cohort are all housed together at the IOE’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies: the 1958 National Child Development Study, the 1970 British Cohort Study and the Millennium Cohort Study. The original 1946 cohort is not far away, just a few doors down at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL.

You’ll often hear the studies referred to as the ‘jewels in the crown’ of British social science. But if you wind the clock back to the 1980s, they were (more…)

How did trust in the UK government change through the Covid-19 pandemic?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital21 October 2022

Sam Parsons and Richard Wiggins.

Our research presented this weekend at the Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies (SLLS) International Annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio focuses on changes in self-reported trust in the UK government, trust in others and compliance with social distancing measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results are based on the responses of 23,461 people living in the UK, who participated in at least one of three web surveys collected during the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically in May 2020, September 2020 and February 2021.

Respondents belong to four nationally representative longitudinal studies which follow people from (more…)

The disadvantage gap: children of austerity or children of adversity?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 September 2022

chezbeate / Pixabay

Neil Kaye.

Last month, hundreds of thousands of young people nervously opened their GCSE results – the first time in the post-pandemic world that such exams had been sat by a full cohort of Year 11 students. Whilst the headlines focused on the apparent fall in average grades from those of the previous two years, the results also highlight a seemingly-inevitable outcome of our present education system: the persistence of a ‘disadvantage’ attainment gap.

A recent IFS report concluded that, “despite decades of policy attention, there has been virtually no change in the ‘disadvantage gap’ in GCSE attainment over the past 20 years”. Whilst some improvement has been noted, modelling by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) from before the pandemic observed that “at the current rate of progress, it would take over 500 years for this gap to close completely at the end of secondary school” (Lupton & Hayes, 2021).

So, is this gap in attainment inevitable? Is it ‘baked’ into the system? Are the policies of successive governments doomed to failure, or have they (more…)

IOE at 120: knowledge, power and social class – a closer look at the Sociology of Education, 1972-1982

Blog Editor, IOE Digital17 August 2022

Basil Bernstein, Professor of the Sociology of Education, 1967-90; Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education, 1983-90.

Basil Bernstein, Professor of the Sociology of Education, 1967-90; Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education, 1983-90.

This blog is the eighth in a series of 12 exploring each decade in IOE’s history in the context of the education and society of the times. Find out more about our 120th anniversary celebrations on our website, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with everything that’s happening. 

Michael Young.

The 1970s was a period of change and excitement but ultimate disappointment for sociologists of education. Internal divisions within the field and external political developments would change the discipline irrevocably. This meant that the work of IOE’s most eminent scholar, Basil Bernstein, would only later enjoy the influence it deserved.

In 1965 Basil Bernstein was promoted to be the first Professor of the Sociology of Education at IOE, and those of us who subsequently joined his department hoped that his highly original research on social class and language codes might be the basis for how the discipline would develop. However, for all its theoretical sophistication, his early work on language became, at best, an outrider to the peculiarly English obsession with the educability of working-class children and its correlation with their persistent low attainment at school. Despite Bernstein’s own powerful (more…)

Only children in the UK are doing just fine

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 July 2022

Jenny Chanfreau and Alice Goisis. 

One-child families are becoming more common in many countries, including the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics, 18% of women born in the early 1970s had one child only, up from 12% among women born a decade earlier in the early 1960s and 14% among women born about a generation earlier, around 1945. Yet many outdated preconceptions and stereotypes persist about what only children are like and how their lives turn out. Our project, using data from four British birth cohorts born in 1946, 1958, 1970 and 2000-2002, provided a comprehensive analysis of the characteristics of only children born in different decades in the UK and how they are doing in childhood and adulthood. Overall, the picture that emerges around only children in the UK is reassuring.

For any research on only children, we first need to be clear about who is an only child. This might appear straight-forward at first glance, as the dictionary definitions of ‘Only child’ suggest: a child who has no sisters or brothers (Cambridge); a person who has no siblings (Collins); or a person who never had a brother or sister (Merriam-Webster). Yet closer reflection reveals (more…)

Refugee Week: How can we improve the Asylum system?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital21 June 2022

In Doncaster, much of the dispersal housing lies in outlying areas with few services

Mette Louise Berg

Photo by Rasha Kotaiche

This is Refugee Week – a celebration of ‘the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary’ around the world.

These are difficult times for those seeking sanctuary across the Global North. In the UK specifically, asylum is a contentious and politicised issue, and we only rarely hear and listen to the voices of people who seek asylum. In research for the report we are launching this week, we worked with a group of people with personal experience of the asylum system and organisations supporting them in Doncaster and Halifax in Yorkshire, two dispersal towns. We asked questions about housing, and the way they are being (more…)

Refugee reception in the shadow of Russia’s war in Ukraine – perspectives from Scandinavia and the UK

Blog Editor, IOE Digital8 April 2022

A woman holds her hand to her face and looks worried, standing outdoors on an urban street

Image: hbrh / Adobe Stock

Drawing on their ongoing research, Mette Louise Berg, Line Grüner, Anders Neergaard, Andrea Verdasco, and Silke Zschomler discuss refugee reception policies in Denmark, Sweden, and the UK, and the obstacles involved in refugee social inclusion and integration in local communities. This post first appeared on the UCL Europe Blog

 

Quick thoughts on the emerging humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and among its neighbours

Blog Editor, IOE Digital28 February 2022

Refugees from Ukraine at border posts in the west of the country

Brad Blitz.

As Putin’s assault on Ukraine continues, hundreds of thousands of people will seek safety in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Only Poland has some recent experience of receiving mass flows of refugees, which was not handled well. The outpouring of support and sympathy from Ukraine’s neighbours is most welcome, but there are urgent matters to consider if European states and their partners are to manage this impending humanitarian crisis.

(more…)

Financial literacy part 3: Are there socio-economic differences in how parents interact with their children about money?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 February 2022

John Jerrim.

In the previous blog in this series I investigated socio-economic differences in young people’s financial skills. This focused upon the types of financial questions that young people from advantaged backgrounds can successfully answer, that their peers from disadvantaged backgrounds can’t.

In this next blog, I start to consider socio-economic differences in one of the key inputs into the development of young people’s financial skills – the role of their parents. Are there certain things that higher-income parents do with their offspring to nurture their financial skills, that lower-income parents do not?

Lets take a look (with further details available in the academic paper here). (more…)