The Up-Series Generation in the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study

Alison Sizer , University College London
Oliver Duke-Williams, University College London
Nicola Shelton, University College London

Aim: This paper describes the ONS Longitudinal Study (LS) and its use to examine whether a convenience selected sample (participants of the Up-Series of documentaries) was representative of seven-year-olds living in England and Wales in 1964 in terms of their socio-demographic lifecourses. Methods: We used descriptive analysis of longitudinal socio-demographic data (gender, social class, education, NSSEC, tenure) on 14,900 LS members who were seven-years-old and living in the UK in 1964 and compared this with the fourteen participants of the Up-Series. Results: On all but gender, the Up-Series participants were representative of the same cohort in the LS. In terms of their socio-demographic outcomes, those LS members who grew up in high social class households had more advantageous life courses than those who grew up in working class households in terms of their education, tenure, social class and occupation. In comparison, the Up-Series participants displayed more extreme socio-demographic lifecourses. Conclusions: The Up-Series gives the impression that social mobility was rare; the childhood circumstances of its participants largely determined the “men” they became. Analysis of the LS suggested social mobility was more common. The expansion of women’s employment a wider restructuring of the labour force were some of the reasons for this.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy