This page last revised : Nov 2008 .
This page is privately maintained.
Alternatively, see my staff page within the DASS website.
My current work and research : General / CAMSIS/GEODE/DAMES / PhD / Other projects / Publications / Home / Downloads
July 2003 -> current
Contract research, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
December 2000 -> July 2003
PhD research, Centre for Applied Statistics, Lancaster University,
October 1996 - November 2000
My main research interest is in 'social stratification', and its analysis through social survey data. I participate in several research networks on stratification, including the ISA's group 'RC28' and its methodology group 'RC33'. I also currently organise the meetings of the UK based 'Social Stratification Reseach Seminars'.Much of my current research originates with my post at Cardiff when I was RA on the CAMSIS project. This concerns analysis of occupation-based measures of social stratification, and their associations with other social factors believed to reflect stratification inequalities. I continue to work on this project, with recent analyses often directed to comparative frameworks in stratification research (such as cross-national comparisons of stratification structures, or historical comparisons ). Since 2005, I've coordinated the 'GEODE' project, which involves looking at the computing technologies behind the distrubtion of occupational data (such as the occupational information generated from the CAMSIS project data resources). In 2008, a group of us began a larger project called 'DAMES' (Data Management through e-Social Science) which will extend this specialist study on occupational data (further developing resources on occupational data and undertaking a series of new projects on related topics in 'handling' or 'managing' research data).
My other primary research interest concerns 'ethnicity', and particularly relationships between migrant and ethnic groups and structures of social stratification.
I have a strong bias in favour of methods of survey analysis in the research I conduct. Generally, this has also led me to be involved in methodological research concerned with the appropriate use of quantitative methods techniques in social science applications. In particular, I've been interested in issues of the operationalisation of two 'key variables' in social research - occupations ( see this article), and ethnicity (for instance here).Since 2004, I've worked on several methodological projects. I am involved in a training project 2004-8 'Longitudinal Data Analysis for Social Science Researchers', which has mainly teaching/training outputs, though it also incorporates methodological investigations concerned with the uses of longitudinal social science datasets, and appropriate statistical models. I am also an organiser of the Scottish Social Survey Network which promotes meetings and seminars on the analysis of survey data in Scottish institutions. Additionally, I'm involved in some more specific methodological projects, including recently a review of the application of 'quasi-variance' to sociological data.
During my time in Cardiff I was research assistant on the CAMSIS project, coordinated at Cardiff University by Prof. Ken Prandy. We continue to work on this project. The core of the project is the construction of "social interaction and stratification scales" for occupational units in a number of different countries, using information on the combination of occupational titles of marriage partners. The scale is constructed by modelling the cross-tabulation of the occupational titles of the two partners; scores for the partner 1 occupations, for example, can be derived which rank the closeness / distance from other occupations in terms of the comarable distribution of partner 2 occupations. There are extensive details on the project immediately accessible through its webpages, which Ken and I maintain jointly. Final scale scores, when completed, are made available on these pages for download by other users (go on, use them...!).
Aside from the basic production and distribution of the occupational scale scores for each country, the project also involves the evaluation of the scales as research tools, and thus our work engages more generally with debates on the meaning and correlates of social stratification. For example we have conducted several evaluations of the properties of the score values, details of which can be accessed when available from the project webpages, along with some overview papers looking as the cross-national consistency (or otherwise!) of the properties of the CAMSIS versions. A recent extension project known as 'HISCAM' concerns the derivation of occupational stratification scores for historical (primarily 19th century) occupational data - this is associated with the HISCO project.
Associated with the CAMSIS project, with Ken Prandy I have recently been working on an analysis of'long run trends' in the significance of social stratification in Britain (also with Marge Unt and Wendy Bottero). The idea of the project is to look at evidence from a number of social surveys which span the last 40 years of so in Britain, and to analyse whether they show evidence of difference in the way social stratification measures interact with other variables. So far, most of our attention has focussed on (trends in) patterns of social mobility over the time period (we think there is evidence of the declining influence of father's occupational background on own occupational outcome). Additionally, we plan to look for trends over time in patterns of association between social stratification measures, and other indicators such as voting, education, lifestyle and so on. Further details are available from the webpages for this 'social mobility' project. Some papers relating to this project are detailed below under publications .
Also with Ken Prandy, a related project involves the analysis of intra-gernerational mobility, more specifically in our case, finely detailed patterns on job transitions within the career. In a directly analogous construction to that of the CAMSIS scales which are based upon the frequencies of husband-wife occupational combinations, we can use longitudinal data sources to analyse structure in the frequencies of 'last-to-next' occupational transition combinations within a career. This tells us something both about general structures of occupational stratification, and the longitudinal analysis of occupational careers. Early comments on this project can be found here. So far, this project concerns Britain only, though the availability of internationally comparable datasources mean cross-national assessments are likely to follow.
From October 2005, a group of us at Stirling and Glasgow undertook a project also concerned with occupational classifications and related to the CAMSIS project. 'GEODE' (Grid Enabled Occupational Data Evironment, was funded by the ESRC between October 2005 and March 2007). This project is concerned with the technologies behind the distribution of ‘occupational information’ within the social science research community. It is an attempt to use ‘eScience’ and ‘Grid’ technologies to facilitate access to occupational information. These technologies involve a particular form of (newly emerging) computing resource – indeed, a wider intention of the project is to develop and promote these technologies as examples of ‘eSocial Science’. The GEODE project has two main aims. The first is to develop an online processor or ‘portal’, which will allow social science users to securely submit their datasets (such as survey data with occupational records), and have the data returned with appropriate occupational information (such as social class classifications) matched to the relevant cases. The second aim is to develop an online environment to act as a ‘depository’ for occupational information, for use by a wide range of national and international social science researchers.These outputs are be delivered via the GEODE webpages: www.geode.stir.ac.uk.
From February 2008, our work on GEODE became a component of a larger project, called 'Data Management through e-Social Science (DAMES).This project is to run a research Node associated with the National Centre for e-Social Science. This project involves a wide range of activities related to helping social scientists to manipulate and access datasets, and it includes specialist resources relating to data. 'DAMES' is funded by the ESRC between February 2008 and January 2010 - for more details see www.dames.org.uk.
"Three Developments in the Statistical Modelling of Social Survey Data : An assessment of statistical and substantive merits."
3. Ethnicity in quantitative models :
The last main section reviewed how best to assess ethnicity effects using survey data : a set of dummy variables for large visible minority groups; separate models for the different groups; or an alternative approach, involving the apparently daft specification of ethnicity diffences as ordinal, assigning numeric scores to ethnic categories which may then constitute a 'continuous' propertied variable representing ethnic difference. It's amazing, isn't it, how these quantitative types will happily butcher their data until it's better suited to their modelling intentions... I've investigated this for British data (the BHPS, PSI studies and FWLS), and in the summer of 2000 I went to CEPS in Luxembourg to extend this investigation to models for ethnicity effects in other countries. An April 02 conference paper focusing on Britain can be downloaded from here, and a Working Paper summarising the work at CEPS is accessible from here.
Other projects and related
In my last year at Lancaster I was one of the researchers in the EFFNATIS project, an EU funded study into the "integration of children of international migrants" across Europe. Three 'core' teams from Britain, France and Germany conducted boost samples of approx 800 16-25 year olds in each country, representing two CIM groups and the autochthonous group, within a chosen region. Data was collected on a wide variety of issues - parental background, educational experiences and attainment, occupational situations, cultural values, political views, leisure activities... My work in Lancaster concerned the construction and analysis of this data, and subsequently the production of a number of reports. Details of several working papers are available from the EFFNATIS webpages. We are in the process of writing a book summarising our analysis of the EFFNATIS surveys (with Prof Roger Penn). In June 2004, Roger and I presented a workshop on EFFNATIS results to the UCLA Summer Institute on International Migration in Los Angeles.
List of publications available from: http://www.dass.stir.ac.uk/staff/showstaff.php?id=37. (Please contact me for any additional details):
Lambert PS. 2002. Three Developments in the Statistical Modelling of Social Survey Data : An assessment of statistical and substantive merits. Lancaster: PhD Thesis, Lancaster University. 372 pp. (Link to download)