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The gender dimension of social changeThe contribution of dynamic research to the study of women's life courses$
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Elisabetta Ruspini and Angela Dale

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9781861343321

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861343321.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Concluding comments

Concluding comments

(p.261) Eleven Concluding comments
The gender dimension of social change

Elisabetta Ruspini

Angela Dale

Policy Press

This concluding chapter offers some recommendations for increasing and improving the role of longitudinal data in researching and analysing changes in women's lives and life courses. Change, such as has already been discussed, is a highly complex process which involves many factors. Some aspects of change are seen as systematic and predictable, others are seen as random or coincidental. Within this context, a key issue is to highlight how women are conceptualised in longitudinal studies, and how longitudinal research can probe deep into women's life courses. It is argued in this chapter that there must be an attempt to understand whether gender inequality is effectively investigated within longitudinal studies and whether it has potential to be investigated in the first place. It is also argued that the final aim should be to go beyond the ‘indirect gender indicator’ model, and replace it with a research approach that is able to highlight important aspects of women's roles, and the ways in which these are changing. Among the recommendations discussed in this closing chapter are: research on women should be contextualised with information on other actors within the private domestic sphere and outside households; topics and questions should be compiled in a gender-sensitive manner; a connection between the concepts of dependence and unpaid work, including gender equality and economic autonomy should be analysed; there should be inclusion of topics relevant to the analysis of gender differences as they open broader avenues for researchers; and gender-sensitive research should combine the ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ dimensions.

Keywords:   recommendations, longitudinal data, women's lives, longitudinal studies, longitudinal research, women, gender equality, gender-sensitive research

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