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Forms of distinction and variations in social participation from early adulthood to midlife: a lifecourse perspective using longitudinal data

Evans, Sian 2020. Forms of distinction and variations in social participation from early adulthood to midlife: a lifecourse perspective using longitudinal data. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Social participation has a wide variety of benefits affecting health and social outcomes at individual, community, and national levels. This, along with concerns that levels of participation are in decline, have led to the expansion of interest in the factors that motivate and restrict social participation from both researchers and policy makers; with encouraging participation at all lifecourse stages a particular policy aim. This research develops understandings of how social participation varies across the lifecourse using a longitudinal cohort study and its qualitative sub-study. Previous studies largely used cross-sectional and short-term panel data and so were unable to track the development of social participation and social relationships across the lifecourse. The relationships between social participation, social class, gender, and employment and family characteristics are also investigated. Social class and previous participation experience are shown to have a consistent relationship with social participation, while the relationship between social participation, employment and the family shifts across the lifecourse. The gendered nature of social participation and responsibilities towards the family and employment are highlighted. The qualitative analysis indicated social participation is potentially underreported in quantitative data and identified novel themes that provided insight into the class-based patterns of social participation by showing it is valued widely, albeit in different ways. These findings are discussed in relation to Bourdieu’s concept of habitus as it is argued that the experiences of those of a higher social class during their childhood develops the dispositions, or habitus, that encourages social participation behaviours across the lifecourse. Efforts aimed at increasing social participation must consider the diversity, or current lack thereof, of participants. This research showcases the strength of using longitudinal data, with both qualitative and quantitative analyses in depicting the relationships and nuances in lifecourse social participation behaviours.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 December 2020
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:12

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