Life-shopping

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Motherhood in Western Europe

Insights from Western European Mothers

The changing face of motherhood — Western Europe

The accompanying reports combine a review of existing literature with an analysis of original quantitative data derived from a poll of 9,582 mothers from 12 countries in Western Europe, making it one of the largest studies of this kind ever conducted

Child Obesity and Health

An analysis of the latest available data from the Health Survey for England (HSE)

Child Obesity and Health — download the full report in pdf format

In this ‘National Childhood Obesity Week’, the SIRC report, Children, obesity and heath: Recent trends, holds up a true mirror, accurately reflecting the trend towards slimmer, healthier children. more

The Future of Freemasonry

An examination of the role of Freemasonry in the 21st century

Freemasonry

This report is, as far as we know, an account of the first ever study that has been commissioned by Freemasons from a non-Masonic body. None of the SIRC members involved in the project are Freemasons, a fact that evoked surprise and welcome in equal measure from the Lodge members we met. more

The Changing Face of Motherhood

Insights from three generations of mothers

Motherhood

The report seeks to answer some specific questions about the changing face of motherhood and determine the extent to which modern ‘solutions’ to motherhood are more or less beneficial than the solutions of the past. more

Coming of age in the eBay generation:
'Life-shopping' and the new life skills for the age of eBay

Life-shopping, YEPPIES, Peter-Pan Syndrome, The New Collectivism and the Quarter-life crisis

Introduction

We've all heard about the 'quarter-life crisis', and associated trends such as adult children still living with their parents, becoming 'permastudents', taking second or even third gap years, job-hopping, mate-hopping, flat-hopping and generally failing to grow up and settle down in the traditional career-house-marriage-kids fashion. Even if they do get married, it's often a 'starter marriage' that falls apart within a few years – and none of them seems ready to have children until it's almost too late (apart, that is, from the ones who get pregnant while they're still at school).

Cue the customary national moan-fest: all the columnists and pundits and letter-writers are either complaining about the feckless behaviour and irresponsible attitudes of the youth of today, or bellyaching on their behalf about how difficult life is, what with student debts and house prices and all, or casting about for someone to blame -mostly coming up with the usual suspects: the government, the schools, the parents, the media, the internet, fast food, mobile phones, computer games…

But what's this really all about? What's really going on here? Why are young people having these 'quarter-life' or 'mid-youth' crises'? Why can't they just grow up, settle down, knuckle under and get on with it (this debate seems to be awash with phrasal verbs) like their parents did? What exactly is their problem? eBay commissioned the social scientists at the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) to find out.

We set out to provide insight into the lives of the 'eBay generation' – those reaching adulthood in the current 'age of eBay. Our aim was to explore and explain current concerns about the 'quarter-life crisis' and associated trends, but also to look ahead: what does the future hold for the eBay generation? What new life-skills will be needed for the age of eBay?

The SIRC study draws on a wide range of data sources – including: