Longitudinal analysis and the constitution of the concept of gender

Jane Elliott

in The gender dimension of social change

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9781861343321
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303824 | DOI:
Longitudinal analysis and the constitution of the concept of gender

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This chapter examines the value of longitudinal data and longitudinal approaches for examining women's lives. In particular, the chapter focuses on the role of part-time work in the context of British women's work histories. In addition to presenting the outcome of longitudinal analyses of women's work histories, the chapter also places emphasis on the need to take a more reflexive approach to the use of qualitative life history data. It focuses on the manner in which longitudinal research on women's life has concentrated on the behaviour of mothers after the birth of their first child. In addition, the chapter also focuses on the implications of conflating all women with the subgroup of mothers for reifying the concept of gender from the perspective of feminist theory. The first section of this chapter concentrates on conceptualising women's employment. The first part discusses recent research on women's behaviour and highlights the importance of understanding the role of part-time employment in the dynamic context of women's work histories. The second part outlines some theoretical debates on the concept of ‘women’ within feminist writings. The second section of the chapter discusses the results of event history models, based on the data from the National Child Development Survey (NCDS). The final section considers how the recent feminist theory informs the manner of conducting and presenting longitudinal analyses.

Keywords: longitudinal data; longitudinal approaches; women's lives; part-time work; women's work histories; women's employment

Chapter.  12557 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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