Life Stages and Intergenerationality

Addressing issues around Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, Goal 4: Quality Education and Goal 5: Gender Equality, the work we publish in this area – including on our Ageing and Gerontology, Children, Young People and Families and Education lists, and the Longitudinal and Life Course Studies journal - helps identify and address the challenges that come at different life stages and between different generations.

It explores issues around health at different stages of life, demographics, intergenerationality, the challenges in education and the need for equal participation at all stages of the lifecourse.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Life stages and intergenerationality, we aim to address the following goals: 

Life Stages and Intergenerationality

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This book has analyzed the link between objective and subjective job insecurity along the life courses of individuals. While objective job insecurity had been investigated extensively in previous literature, subjective job insecurity had comparatively received lesser attention. In empirical terms, analyzing job insecurity poses a challenge, given that its nature is multidimensional and it is influenced by a complex set of factors at different levels, individual and collective. Earlier research has either looked on objective or subjective job insecurity separately. We addressed the two dimensions in their own specificity, but also analysed the interplay between objective and subjective factors. We could thus additionally highlight inconsistencies between the two dimensions and their relative incidence. Only in this way can we provide a complete picture of job insecurity across welfare states.

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Chapter abstract

The introduction explains the research questions of the book, the approach and the methodology used by the authors. This book addresses the issue of job insecurity from a holistic point of view, considering both the objective and subjective dimension and the whole life course of individuals. The interplay between the objective and subjective dimension has often been overlooked in sociology, with studies mainly focusing on one (for example, objective) or the other dimension (for example, subjective) or competing to demonstrate which of the two, objective or subjective, can have the largest influence.

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This chapter provides a stylized overview of key developments in older workers’ employment trends since the 1980s. Following this quantitative overview of the extent of older workers’ employment, the following sections take a look at the qualitative aspects of their employment. Subsequently we investigate how far older workers perceive their employment as being (in)secure and how this perception has changed over time. We discuss the future insecurity around income prospects in old age, considering the pension-related perceptions of today’s older employees and pensioners, but also considering the long-term pension effects of the spread of atypical employment among younger labour market generations.

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The relationship between unstable work careers and family transitions into adult life can vary according to the personal circumstances of individuals, as well as the welfare state system of the country.

Drawing from interviews and survey data across the EU and the UK, this in-depth study explores how worker instability is perceived and experienced, and how this ‘perception’ in turn affects individuals’ economic and social situation. Using intersectional analysis and a unique focus on different life stages, the authors identify groups who are more prone to labour market risks and describe their relative disadvantage.

This powerful study will inform policy measures internationally in several social domains related to work, employment and society.

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This chapter focuses on young people in Europe in conditions of low attachment to the labour market and their decision-making mechanisms with respect to the transition to autonomous living. The results will be contextualized at the macro level taking into consideration the role of the relevant welfare state regimes. Then we will focus on how objective and subjective job insecurity affect housing autonomy of youth in different welfare state regimes.

The rationale behind the choice of the countries is driven by the mixed-method design of the chapter, which integrates quantitative data aimed at illustrating statistical regularities around the phenomenon of leaving the parental home and qualitative data aimed at investigating the meaning and mechanisms behind such transition.

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This chapter explores the relationship between objective and subjective insecurity in mid-career. We will apply a perspective looking at the gender-specific experience of objective employment insecurity and the subjectively perceived insecurity of men and women. We will start by providing an overview about the overall labour force attachment of the two genders over time by contrasting their overall employment rates. Particular attention in this respect will be given to women’s employment during motherhood and early childhood years.

We will investigate how far job insecurity impacts on key indicators in the quality of life for men and women, and how far this effect is mediated by both macro level and micro level factors.

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This chapter explores the two dimensions of job insecurity, objective and subjective, across European countries. Using quantitative data for EU28 countries (including UK), the chapter provides an overview of the variation of job insecurity across different welfare state regimes and across young and adult workers. Moreover, the chapter investigates the interplay between the objective and subjective dimension of job insecurity at individual level, analyzing inconsistent profiles and characteristics of workers who are in a situation of objective insecurity but do not feel insecure (and vice versa). The findings provide an encompassing view of the phenomenon in its complexity and the emerging insights contribute to address the phenomenon at policy level.

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The objective and subjective dimensions of job insecurity have been addressed in sociological literature by several theoretical and empirical studies, with particular attention to the variations associated with welfare regimes and labour market regulations, yet other micro level dimensions have received less attention or findings remain inconclusive.. Furthermore, comparatively little research has investigated how (objective and subjective) job insecurity impacts on later transitions in life, such as mid-career trajectories and transitions from work to retirement. This chapter explores the relationship between objective and subjective job insecurity in the past literature. In particular, it links the results with the types of welfare states systems. The chapters take into account the micro, meso and macro levels.

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This chapter takes off from the observation that menopause in human beings is still understood in the prevailing biomedical discourse as a period of decline, failure, loss and ending, a construction which limits not just the questions we can ask about menopause but also how we answer them. Instead, we need to understand menopause through a biopsychosocial lens and specifically as a transition; as well as reframing it as an experience that is significantly inflected by an individual’s social context and their psyche. This allows us to include the bodies of those who currently do not count in prevailing discourse and ensuing policy and practice around menopause, and to understand that there is no such thing as THE menopause.

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Authors: and

In this short editorial conclusion, we draw out the key messages offered throughout the volume’s chapters, highlighting areas where these chapters complement each other and/or make contributions to the knowledge base on menopause transitions and the workplace. This foundation is then used to re-assess areas that require further development, or which have opened up as new research areas given the now expanded knowledge base. This culminates in a clear research agenda to follow going forwards as we hope to see menopause transitions in the workplace becoming a more established research field. Our edited volume has brought together chapters covering menopause as a biopsychosocial process; transitions within workplaces; flexible working; trade unions, the spatial context of work; and male allyship in organizations. With this breadth of subject matter, we have made clear contributions and advanced knowledge on menopause in the following, important ways. First, the chapters have helped counter the still predominantly biomedical discourse around menopause and have furthered the discussions around a biopsychosocial approach. Karen Throsby and Celia Roberts do this most prominently in Chapter 2, and set the tone for the whole volume thereby. As their analysis makes clear, although the provision of HRT is an important subject and the focus on the availability of such medication in UK parliamentary activities is welcome (All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, 2022; Women and Equalities Committee, 2022), there is a need for an extension of support for menopausal women to consider social and cultural factors. We also need, as Karen and Celia establish, to open up the conversation around menopause to include those who are often excluded – LGBTQI+ people, people with disabilities, people who do not have children and those who go through premature menopause – in workplaces and elsewhere.

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