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  • Author or Editor: Heather Joshi x
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John Bynner is a leading advocate of considering context in life course research. In this paper I review some of the ways contextual information on time and place may enrich the analysis of individual histories, as well as vice versa. I take three examples from my own research: (1) a late 20th century analysis of adult health and mortality in Britain where individual and area level evidence are combined; (2) a cross-national analysis of neighbourhood and family predictors of child outcomes at age five in Britain and the US from the early 2000s; and (3) workplace as the context of segregation and the gender pay gap in Britain as it changed over several decades to 2015. The article ends with a discussion of the pros and cons of incorporating contextual evidence in longitudinal survey data sets with reference to the UK Millennium Cohort Study, which John Bynner helped to bring into existence.

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From birth to nine months
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This book documents the early lives of almost 19,000 children born in the UK at the start of the 21st century, and their families. It is the first time that analysis of data from the hugely important Millennium Cohort Study, a longitudinal study following the progress of the children and their families, has been drawn together in a single volume. The unrivalled data is examined here to address important policy and scientific issues. The book is also the first in a series of publications that will report on the children’s lives at different stages of their development.

The fascinating range of findings presented here is strengthened by comparison with data on earlier generations. This has enabled the authors to assess the impact of a wide range of policies on the life courses of a new generation, including policies on child health, parenting, childcare and social exclusion.

Babies of the new millennium (title tbc) is the product of an exciting collaboration from experts across a wide range of health and social science fields. The result is a unique and authoritative analysis of family life and early childhood in the UK that cuts across old disciplinary boundaries. It is essential reading for academics, students and researchers in the health and social sciences. It will also be a useful resource for policy makers and practitioners who are interested in childhood, child development, child poverty, child health, childcare and family policy.

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This chapter presents some concluding remarks. In what has been an unprecedented time in the UK for family policy initiatives and developments, the new large-scale longitudinal survey of babies that was launched in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) of 18,819 babies has provided an interesting opportunity for analysis. This book has given people the chance to start to dip into the richness of this new survey, explore its potential, compare its findings with earlier generations and provide some benchmarks for the future with this new generation of children who have started out life in this era of new UK family policy. This chapter presents some final thoughts about policy questions such as babies under different family structures and parenting regimes; fathers’ involvement in childcare; child poverty; working mothers; parental employment; babies’ health and development, and social capital.

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This chapter discusses the effect of differences in the levels of skills, education and childbearing on the lifetime earnings of women in partnerships in the UK. Using simulated data for the earnings of couples, and making assumptions about gender roles, the chapter shows that women with higher skill levels are able to maintain levels of lifetime earnings approaching those of men whether or not these women have children. On the other hand, women with lower skill levels have the tendency to face lower lifetime earnings than men, specifically if they have children. This has serious implications for women’s financial well-being if they face marital and relationship dissolution.

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