Born in 1953 (häftad)
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Stockholm University Press
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Born in 1953 (häftad)

Born in 1953

The story about a post-war Swedish cohort, and a longitudinal research project

Häftad Engelska, 2018-11-28
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At the beginning of the 1960s, Swedish researchers started a sociological study of all children born in Stockholm in 1953, Project Metropolitan. This book describes the project?s at times dramatic history, where issues of personal integrity and the role of social sciences were heavily debated. These discussions were fueled by the rapid and far-reaching digitalization in society at large and also within social sciences. As such, Project Metropolitan came to symbolize the benefits and potential risks related to an expanding body of research based on large groups of individuals and multiple register data sources.

At the outset, the project?s founders sought to answer the following question: ?Why do some get on better in life than others?? One of the main aims of the project was to study the long-term impact of conditions in childhood. The book therefore also includes an updated presentation of the main findings, as they have been conveyed in over 160 publications to date. These publications cover a wide array of topics and phenomena such as social mobility and education, substance abuse and crime, health and ill-health, peer influences and family relations, and adult lives of adopted children.

Today Project Metropolitan is known as the ?Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (SBC Multigen)? and is still in full vigor. From its original group of 15,000 children, the study has become multi-generational by adding data about their parents, siblings, children, nieces and nephews. As they approach their late 60s, it will also be possible to follow these ?children? into retirement and old-age.

In the concluding chapter the author discusses some of the challenges contemporary social research is facing. What are the current threats to academic freedom and what opportunities do the unique data registers in countries like Sweden provide?

Sten-Åke Stenberg is professor of sociology at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University. He has worked with Project Metropolitan for several decades. He has also been part of the study since he was born in 1953.
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Recensioner i media

“this is the first sociological description of a cohort in a nordic setting, which also discusses perspectives on the individual person registration systems which is rather unique in a nordic context.” — merete osler, center for clinical research and prevention, denmark

“this book is well written and easy-toread, which makes it accessible for a wider audience. it provides interesting insights in how an important variant of empirical social research was initially launched and how it developed. /…/ it is good for the collective memory that these experiences will be saved.” — martin diewald, professor of social structure, bielefeldt university, germany

Övrig information

Sten-ke Stenberg is professor of sociology at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University. He has worked with Project Metropolitan for several decades. He has also been part of the study since he was born in 1953.


part i. project metropolitan

The dream of a Nordic collaboration

The Swedish Data Protection Authority, the Data Act, and the Social Scientists

The Debate on Project Metropolitan

Metropolitan 2018

Social Research Then, Now and in the Future

part ii. the children of 1953

Progress and a Belief in the Future

Confinement and Being Born in 1953 

Adoptive Children and Foster Children

Housing, Moving and Social Class

Preschool and School Years

Mods, Drugs and the Shift to the Left

Dreams of the Future

Crime and Punishment

Social Disadvantage, Violence and Ill-health

What are the Results of the Research?

part iii. on the freedom, utility and responsibilities of research

Project Metropolitan and the Future of Social Research