Understanding Society launch 2018 Insights report

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Greener neighbourhoods: young family hikingEach year Understanding Society publishes Insights – showcasing innovative research which uses data from the Study and has relevance to policy makers. This year we’ve chosen to feature research that looks at gender inequality, our environmental behaviour and how the quality of life for older people can be improved.

Gender inequality and family change

Can mothers’ part-time work explain the gender pay gap? How does becoming a parent shape our gender attitudes? And what are the effects of seperation on where individuals live?

“These studies show women disadvantaged in terms of earning power and asset ownership, with the gender pay gap widening over the life course. Now is the time to act across government, business and society.” Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, Fawcett Society.

Supporting a good later life

What is the relationship between health and social exclusion in older age? What’s driving unretirement and might it increase inequalities in later life? What drives the entry in to poverty for older people?

“The analysis presented here relates to quality of life in older age, with a focus on three key areas for action: reducing poverty in later life, supporting people to remain in work for longer, and to be able to continue to participate in their communities. All things we know are important to a good later life.” Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better.

Green lives – applying the human dimension to environmental policy

Does a ‘green’ lifestyle improve life satisfaction? What impact does air pollution have on life satisfaction? Does becoming a parent make you think differently about the environment?

“Environmental policy is an area that tends towards either the abstract, technocratic policy built on simplistic behavioural assumptions, like carbon pricing, or else rests on anecdote, as the endless debate over recycling bins demonstrates. So it is refreshing to see robust, longitudinal research applied to this area using Understanding Society.” Dustin Benton, Director of Policy, Green Alliance.

You can read Insights here.

Insights was formally launched at a discussion event debating gender equality and the gender pay gap. The event was part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.


NB Please note that this news article has been reposted from the Understanding Society website.