Social Change and Economic Life Initiative Surveys, 1986-1987


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The principal emphasis of the programme was to examine the attitude of the population to changes in the employment structure of British society, including occupational structure changes in the gender composition of the workforce, increased unemployment and increases in the use of casual employment. These changes influence both the nature of working lives and the time spent outside work. A follow-up to the SCELI survey, in which some original respondents were re-interviewed, <i>Individual and Household Strategies: A Decade of Change 1986-1997</i> (also known as the <i>Decade of Change Survey</i>) was conducted in 1997. This study is held at the Archive under SN:4038. Some teaching materials using these data have been developed. Details are available at the following website: <a href=>;</a>; .

Main Topics:

Variables Work Attitudes/Histories Survey The fieldwork for the Work Attitudes/Histories Survey was carried out between June 1986 and November 1986, with approximately 1000 respondents in each area, (making 6111 cases in all). Each area questionnaire included Life and Work Histories plus core questions (551 variables) which were common across all areas. In addition a number of questions were asked that were specific to respondents in particular areas. Household and Community Survey In 1987 (fieldwork, March - July) a follow-up survey was carried out on approximately one third of the respondents to the 1986 Work Attitudes/Histories Survey, in each of the six areas. This survey consisted of 1816 respondents, 1218 of whom were living in partnerships and 598 of whom were single. Where applicable, partners were interviewed as well as the original respondent. The questionnaire for this survey consisted of three sections; an interview schedule including questions to both respondents and partners, a respondent's self-completion and partner's self-completion. Partners' data is coded under the respondents' identification number. For single people the interview schedule is shorter and there is no partners self-completion. These questionnaires include life history and work history updates for the original respondents, work history schedules for partners, core questions (1372 variables) and area-specific questions. Employers Surveys Between October 1986 and February 1987 a survey was carried out on employers (n=1308) of the respondents in the Work Attitudes/Histories survey. Different questionnaires (designed to provide functionally equivalent questions for different types of organisations) were used for large and small employers, for public and private enterprises, and for different industries. These questionnaires are in three parts. Part A varies by whether the enterprise is public or corporate. Part B varies by the size and public or private status of employers. Part C varies according to the industry of the employer: 1. manufacturing, wholesale, haulage, extractive, agriculture and fisheries; 2. retail, hotel and catering, personal and other consumer services; 3. banks, financial and business services; 4. construction.

One-stage stratified or systematic random sample

The sampling areas were defined in terms of the Department of Employment's 1984 Travel to Work area

Face-to-face interview

Telephone interview



Metadata Access
Creator Gallie, D., University of Oxford, Nuffield College
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 1991
Funding Reference Economic and Social Research Council
Rights No information recorded; <p>The Data Collection is available to UK Data Service registered users subject to the <a href="" target="_blank">End User Licence Agreement</a>.</p><p>Commercial use of the data requires approval from the data owner or their nominee. The UK Data Service will contact you.</p>
OpenAccess true
Language English
Discipline Business and Management; Economics; History; Humanities; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage Fife; Grampian Region; Greater Manchester; Northamptonshire; West Midlands; Wiltshire; England; Scotland