Posted by Realsociology on 1st January 2013
1. Be mindful
2. Be compassionate
3. If you fail at either of these, just try again
(Not necessarily in that order, and with thanks to The Buddha etc.)
Overanalysis of my not very interesting life
Overanalysis of my not very interesting life
Posted by Realsociology on 1st January 2013
1. Be mindful
2. Be compassionate
3. If you fail at either of these, just try again
(Not necessarily in that order, and with thanks to The Buddha etc.)
Posted by Realsociology on 24th December 2012
I don’t celebrate Christmas because I don’t have anyone to celebrate it with. Instead I meditate a lot and do my annual spring clean. If you’re also alone this Christmas, I recommend this as a coping strategy. It’s still pretty bleak, but waking up on 27th having had no Christmas with a clean flat is definitely better than waking up on the 27th with a not-so-clean flat.
This year I’ve decided to really go to town and literally clean EVERYTHING. Although I’m starting to wonder whether moving the fridge and physically washing the walls down with soapy water is maybe a bit excessive. Even though I’ve been in my flat three years, the walls behind the fridge don’t look dirty to me, so my present dilemma this Christmas Eve is should I wash them or not?
I think I will, because I have committed to washing everything, but I got to wondering, is this excessive, how often do people wash the walls behind their fridges?
Anyway, I created this survey to find out, so please if you’ve found this site, humor me and complete it, thanks and for what it’s worth, Merry Christmas.
NB: The survey refers to whether you wash the walls behind your fridges at any time of year, not just at Christmas time.
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.
This is also my first embedded survey, something of a practice run… So apologies if you can’t see the results, I will update later as I’m sure they’ll be a lot of interest in this….
Also if the survey just doesn’t work for some reason, do let me know, as I say, this is a trial.
Actually just in case the embed doesn’t work – here – Click here to take survey
Posted by Realsociology on 6th December 2012
My sixth form college (16-19) has just started ‘pole fitness’ classes and put this very large banner up to advertise them. The college’s take on this is to see ‘pole-fitness’ on a level with Zumba – It’s simply a different form of exercise that young women (let’s face it – it’s primarily women who will attend either) can use to empower themselves, but the former’s just a bit more aethletic and more ‘Burlesque’ than Zumba.
However some staff have commented that it just doesn’t seem appropriate for a 16-19 college to be promoting something that is associated with the sex-industry. The sexual connotations are visible in the banner – you can ‘clearly see cheek showing’ as one member of staff recently pointed out.
Of course I had to go away and do some digging on the issue, and it comes as no surprise that there are a wide range of opinions about whether or not Pole-Fitness is empowering or oppressive to women. To summarise just two…
Clare Mohan, writing at the Varsity Blogs about Pole Fitness in Cambridge University sets out the argument against it….
‘Whatever you name it, pole fitness or pole dancing, you’re still participating in the social context of the pole. Everyone knows where it comes from, that pole dancers are to be found in strip clubs and sex establishments up and down the country, and that pole dancing (which is, a huge percentage of the time, an activity carried out by women) is a dance form specifically designed to excite the watcher (who is, a huge percentage of the time, a man). So pole dancing encourages a view of the dancer [as a] sexual object.’
For more information on the objectification of women see the ‘Object‘ website.
The ‘Pro-Pole’ voice comes from a number of women who both ‘pole’ and identify themselves as Feminists over at the StudioVeena.
Two of the more compelling arguments for ‘poling’ being empowering include…
(From ‘Nilla’) “Maybe people feel that way because stripping as a profession is often seen as something women would only do as a last resort, and that it’s degrading for any woman who does it (It can be, but so can working in the fast food industry). So in a way, taking pole dance out of the stripping/sex industry context and doing it for your own enjoyment is the ultimate act of feminism, kind of taking the activity back for your own control and enjoyment rather than having to do it for the enjoyment of someone else.”
(From ‘Poledanceromance’) ’”To me, the answer is very simple (sex positive feminist): feminism must be about choice. It’s about women supporting other women in our efforts to explore undiscovered parts of ourselves. If I want to explore my potential by staying at home full-time to be the best mom I can be, you’d support me in that. If you wanted to explore yourself as a sexual being by experimenting in different sexual relationships, I’d support you in that (provided everyone is being safe!)”
If you read through the arguments for poling, many of them focus on the notion that it’s good for women to be allowed the freedom to express whatever they like through dance, including their sexuality if they damn well please, and they argue that in pole-fitness this process of exploration is completely liberated from the context of male domination and objectification that may exist in stripping.
What’s interesting is that both Pro and anti-pole stances see a sexual link in the activity, which brings me back to the original question – Is it right for a 16-19 college to be promoting something that has obvious sexual connotations? Moreover, is it right to do this when we all know that it will be mainly, probably solely young women, rather than young men, engaging in this sexualised activity?
Personally I don’t feel particularly comfortable with the college’s promoting pole-fitness, but am I just showing my age here? Or maybe this is my ‘inner patriarch’ just wanting to control young women from expressing their freedom? Or my ‘inner dad’ wanting to prevent young women from growing up?
Maybe I just need to get over it and start promoting pole-fitness in tutorials? Maybe that’s the future… ‘And don’t forget… final UCAS deadlines are this Friday, next Wednesday there’s a guest speaker talking about how to break into Journalism, and any young women wishing to explore their inner sex kitten are welcome to attend our new pole-fitness classes on Tuesdays… Please undress appropriately.’
Comments more than welcome…
Posted by Realsociology on 2nd December 2012
In the last seven years the revenues and profits of the world’s largest corporations have grown at twice the rate of the GNI of the world’s largest economies (and a lot faster than the flat-lining Euro economies.)
NB – There’s no actual analysis here (yet) – make of it what you will!
|Total GNI top 5 economies||$23.8 trillion||$34.7 trillion||45%|
|Total Revenue top 5 global companies||$1.3 trillion||$2.4 trillion||85%|
|% of revenue as % of total GNI of top five countries||5.4%||6.9%||1.5%|
|Total Profit top 10 companies||$151 billion||$295 billion||95%|
See below for the evidence base – I’m aware of the problems of comparing Revenue/ profits with GNI as a measure of ‘Corporate power’ in relation to Nation State power, but I’m not actually doing that here, am I – I’m doing a historical comparison…
|4||Royal Dutch/Shell Group||268,690.0||18,183.0|
Profit for top 10 companies = $151 billion (Roughly – you’ll need to go to the top 100 list on the link above!)
Profits of top ten companies change in 7 years -
Revenue of top five global companies change in 7 years -
Posted by Realsociology on 25th November 2012
This isn’t a particularly informative post, more of a spontaneous expression of an epiphany moment (although one without the elation).
The epiphany comes in the form of a question – Is there any worse way of getting teenagers to concentrate than sitting them in a room with 19 other teenagers and one adult for four and a half hours a day?
I mean I know the typical day at school or college, for most kids at least, will be broken up with more active lessons such as sport and music, but the standard model is 20 teenagers in a room with one adult.
This just seems ridiculous – Assuming an hour and half lesson, it’s too large a number for the teacher to engage with one on one in any meaningful way, it’s too many for everyone to have a meaningful input into a ‘whole class discussion’, so teachers are left reverting to either individual work where not everyone gets monitored, or pair/ group work where some students inevitably lose focus, and if you are going to go against ‘fairyland Ofsted’s’ advice, and do the dreaded lecture – well 20 is an equally pointless number, you may as well film it and stream it to 20 000.
The days of 20 teenagers sitting in a classroom must surely come to and end soon? Surely it’s possible for schools and especially colleges to be a little more creative with teaching arrangements – A combination of online lectures and independent learning combined with more intense, tailored, smaller group sessions and occasional one on one meetings with students where they spend less time sitting in class, but where they get more focused attention and thus more focused working when they are in lessons …. Maybe>?
A related question is where did the educational norm of ’20 teenagers sitting in a room’m actually come from anyway, and how did it evolve? Answers in comments please.
So if my Beacon ‘best 6th form college’ in the country doesn’t actually innovate like it’s supposed to, perhaps I’ll forge this path at the institutional level, perhaps one day, a year or so before I quit in case it all goes pear shaped, I’ll break all the rules and just do this anyway.
Posted by Realsociology on 7th May 2012
So I finally got around to booking my first holiday in ages and I’m left wondering if the shit that goes with the experience is actually worth it.
I’d initially planned to cycle to Western Ireland, but having spent about 3 hours planning the journey yesterday, I finally concluded that it’s so much hassle getting a bike back on buses trains ferries that I may as well just fly instead – So I booked a flight, and I feel like I’ve been well and truly shafted.
The cheapest flight I found – £46.42 return -
The final amount ended up being nearer £190
Due to the following additions -
|Airline’s Credit Card Fee||£10.91|
|Travel Insurance – which allows me to cancel||£9.42|
|Additional Services – baggage allowance||£24.26|
|Booking Fee – which was added on only after I’d actually paid||£25.66*|
|Total Price (Incl. FlexiFly)||£189.96|
This is ‘worth it’ if you factor in the time I’d save training and ferrying – but this experience, as well as the general stress of organising hotels and transport really has not been fun. Not only has my general experience been one of thinking that around every corner there is someone just waiting to charge you extra fees on everything, but I’ve also effectively wasted half a day of my bank holiday weekend sorting this out.
I mean, I know people bang on about their holidays being fun – but honestly, do people really do that much that’s different on holiday? Sleep late, eat more, watch TV, gawp at the local attractions (not that much different from watching TV really), maybe read a bit more, drink too much.. It’s not as if these aren’t things you can’t do at home?
This has just given weight to my theory – GIVEN THAT the stress of organising a holiday is only just outweighed by the actual ‘joy’ (not the mythical joy) of being ‘on holiday’ – you effectively end up spending a lot of money on a neutral happiness outcome – so there must be another reason why people go on holiday and I would dare to suggest that the reason is this -
People just hate their lives, and possibly their partners, and the holiday stands as a mythical time when all will be well because ‘we won’t be here’ – thus helping distract people from and hoping them to cope with the present.
So I’m left wondering why I’ve bothered organising this ‘holiday’ when I don’t actually hate my life. Perhaps I just needed to remind myself that ‘not doing’ really is the way forward? Or there may be other reasons?
Answers on a postcard please…..
Posted by Realsociology on 19th April 2012
Or at least that’s what the guy serving me coffee this morning informed me as he sang along with Westlife on the radio.
I don’t think he was prepared for my response* – Poor bastard caught me in a muse mood.
‘No, they probably won’t’ I said as I fished for £2.65 worth of shrapnel, ‘and, if you wish to be truly happy, it’s not necessary that they do anyway… Surely our dreams (I assume Westlife are referring to day dreams) actually prevent us from focussing on what is actually going on in front of us, right now, from focussing on what is, rather than what could be; and it is our day dreams, too often based on unrealistic notions of what is actually possible, that make us miserable.
I say this because, in reality, what we have got here in front us, right now, isn’t actually that bad at all, and that there is nothing inherent in our typical day to day to lives that should make us miserable. Here we are, two people, both working or on their way to work, amidst a couple of hundred other people in a similar situation, and there is nothing inherently bad about this station, or this day. We are not starving, we are not in a war zone, we are not being persecuted – We are all well fed, housed, clothed, have access to a wondrous array of social services and huge consumer choice, and yet look around at how many people around us appear distracted or just down right miserable.
‘So why is it’, I continued, coffee and silly little biscuit now firmly in hand ‘that so many people are miserable? Could it be that they compare their perfectly adequate lives to unrealistic and unattainable media manufactured fantasies, day dreams if you like, and as a result feel unsatisfied with what actually is? Could it be that these fantasies, these dreams, these unreal figments of the mind, are actually responsible for making people miserable in their day to day to lives?
I would suggest, that instead of hoping that ‘our dreams come true’, we just give up on Westlife, give up on the mainstream media, and give up on their (not our) dreams and just simply focus on what is – Instead of dreaming, just be happy.’
Oddly enough he didn’t really seem up for responding, so I just closed with ’Thanks for the coffee, have a nice day’ – and I really, really meant it!
The lyrics to ‘dreams can come true are here - This is probably one of the worst pop songs of all time – This is objective truth – check it out for yourselves – Here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS6bt-_KO7w
*OK – Some of this conversation, I may have just had with myself in retrospect, but what’s a little unreality in the age of post modernity?
Posted by Realsociology on 15th March 2012
Man I smacked down my dinner tonight – Sometimes there’s just nothing like a good old plate of baked beans and eggs on toast – In fact a couple of times a week it’s the perfect evening meal (given that I generally eat my fruit and crudities at work) – Nutritious (being a veggie I need the huge amount of protein it provides), extremely cheap (which is good, as I intend to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible to make sure the bank earns as little as possible for basically doing nothing), and it’s quick and I think delicious – as I said, I smacked it down, with only one lone bean stain on my shirt too – go me!
It’s also reasonably easy to make this meal ethical in the environmental sense of the word – free range eggs, home-made bread from locally grown flour, ditto for the butter, with beans being the only thing that you have to ship in – but organic and fair trade varieties exist and they come by sea not air – so all in all, not quite hardcore localism, but not bad either.
Just recently, I’ve developed a penchant for eating such wonderful nutritious, cheap, delicious, practical and ethical meals (in varying combinations of these criteria) and laughing at what I now regard as the morons of Masterchef, in which the contestants invest an enormous amount of time and effort and subject themselves to an enormous amount of stress to construct a meal that is just marginally ‘better’ in terms of flavour balance and texture than their competitors’ – I cannot think of a better illustration of the concept of ‘diminishing marginal utility’ – My meal took me 10 minutes to prepare. The finalists’ meals tonight will, I think, take them 2 hours, can one honestly say that their meal is 12 times nicer than mine plus all the additional stress?
Seriously now, my ‘Pan heated baked beans and d’huile olive fried eggs on crisped wholemeal bread, served with a cup of tea, bag still in’ really hit the spot – so I can’t imagine anything tasting 12 times nicer ; and I really can’t imagine anything tasting 48 times nicer – which is the amount of ‘utility’ that the chefs in last year’s professional Masterchef final would have had to have added to each of their individual courses when they spent eight hours each preparing one course for a Michelin starred restaurant.
Now I’m not suggesting that all of our meals consist of anything we can conveniently chuck together, I’m not suggesting that an ‘all in’ of bananas and Shepherd’s pie wouldn’t make me gag like the next man – there are clearly ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food combinations – but the level of ‘Foodism’ displayed in Masterchef is, I believe, actually the antithesis of a balanced, healthy, practical and wise attitude towards food, which I believe would encourage the following three principles (broadly inspired by Buddhism)
Masterchef is often (although not necessarily) the antithesis of the above wise and pragmatic approach to food -
So call me a philistine – but surely we should resist (as no doubt many do) the messages about food put out by Masterchef (and a whole host of other ‘Foodie’ programmes out there!) because we are encouraged to use cooking as an act of self-construction rather than self-awareness, we are called upon to push all thoughts of ethics and broad-compassion to one side, we are called upon to be more discerning, more judgemental, more fussy and particular, and we are then encouraged to stress ourselves out trying to please others in the process of perpetuating all of this.
Far better to give it all up and just settle for basic, simple food, so if you ever come round to mine, you can expect as much. On the plus side, you’ll find that there’s not that much washing up to do following a meal of pan heated baked beans and d’huile olive fried eggs on crisped wholemeal bread, served with a cup of tea, bag still in’.
Some recent comments on Masterchef 2012 (The Professionals)
Posted by Realsociology on 5th March 2012
This is a not-so-brief post on why I think Fashion is pointless – from a Buddhist point of view. It starts off with an allotment analogy but ends up with 6 reasons why I don’t like Fashion. (NB this first draft is quite abstract, I’ll jazz it up with a few pop. Culture references laters….)
Here we go……
When I go to my allotment I don’t tend to think too much about what I wear, other than to ensure suitable functionality for the tasks in hand. I just chuck on a pair of old walking trousers or traccy bottoms, combined with an out of shape T shirt and sweater – and of course my wellies – and off I trot.
Dressing for the allotment should be a model for dressing in wider society – because on the allotment, what you wear simply doesn’t matter, no one is in the slightest bit interested in judging you by your attire, and your outward appearance is almost completely irrelevant to your engagement with the land, the veg. and other people.
In fact, if you take a moment to reflect on it, what you wear is actually largely irrelevant to realising true happiness in the Buddhist sense of the word, where happiness is defined as realising a stable peace, or equanimity of mind.
Happiness in Buddhism requires one to walk the ‘Noble Eight Fold Path – and there is absolutely no reason why wearing basic, functional, even tatty, clothes, should prevent you from practising any of the following aspects of this path (narrowed down to 6 because of ease of analysis) –
No, there is no reason whatsoever, that you should be prevented from ‘walking the Buddhist path’ for lack of fancy clothes. In fact, where two aspects of the path are concerned – renunciation and trying to avoid being fussy through avoiding picking and choosing – giving up your desire for particular clothes and not worrying about what you wear would actually be positive steps towards their realisation.
Maybe it’s the fact that I love Buddhism so much that I enjoy the near total irrelevance of attire to human interaction on the allotment – there is definite synergy between the two; and maybe this also explains why I generally dislike most of society so much – because the allotment is actually the only ordinary day-to-day ‘public domain’ I can think of where what you wear simply doesn’t matter.
This is probably why, when I sometimes nip from my allotment into town in order to feed my coffee addiction (I’m not a perfect Buddhist), I feel slightly ill at ease when I’m standing in the coffee queue – I’m not dressed appropriately for playing the ‘expressing my middle class identity through spending £2.50 on some frothy milk and four shots of espresso to go’ game. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t exactly suffer anxiety attacks over this, and I’m not about to stop wearing my scruffy old allotment clothes, but I can feel the ‘you look too scruffy for this place vibe’ coming off some fellow coffee-expressers.
Now perhaps you think I’m being over-sensitive, but if you know me, you know I’m not exactly a sensitive person, so I think this vibe I feel is real – and it’s a result of the logic of ‘having to wear particular clothes in particular situations’ having penetrated so deeply into the average person’s psyche that they actually judge me – ME! – on the clothes I wear rather than ‘my deeper-self’ (which is f**king marvellous btw.)
I mean think about it – learning how to pick appropriate styles of clothes for particular situations is a basic part of our early socialisation – Work, weekends, weddings, for example, all require us to ‘know what to wear’, and in our fashion conscious age, we’re expected to select particular colours and cuts that suit our skin tone, body type, and age. Worse, we are called upon to periodically change our wardrobes to accommodate the latest season’s fashion – autumn/ winter – spring/summer – For all I know things now change more often and less predictably – frankly I couldn’t give a toss if they do.
Worse still – for some members of society, clothes aren’t just about fitting in – they are about standing out – and a considerable amount of money is spent on ‘shopping as leisure’ – many people going into debt in order to ‘look good’. And of course this whole process of adornment doesn’t stop at clothes – there’s also hair, nails and accessories. Obviously, at the time of writing, women have things a lot worse than men.
Worse still – many friendships and relationships are periodically colonised by clothes-shopping rituals – where you pair or group-up and parade around the shops reflecting on how certain combinations of clothes suit or not. This is actually regarded as fun by millions of people in Britain.
You’ve probably got the impression that I don’t approve of the time, money and effort so many people put into picking and choosing their items of clothing – and the reason I don’t approve is because this ritual that is so precious to so many people in Britain, this leisure pursuit that is so embedded in our popular-culture, all of this time, money and effort will do absolutely nothing at all to make you truly happy, at least not if you want to achieve happiness in the Buddhist sense of the word.
If we go back to the Noble Eight Fold Path you’ll see what I mean – Considering six of the aspects that lead to happiness – we can now see how the ritual of clothes shopping in order to express yourself through outward appearance is actually the antithesis of what you should/ should not be doing-
As a penultimate note I’ll just make one brief qualification – I do think one will generally be happier if clothes are functional to tasks at hand, clean, and fit appropriately. Besides these requirements, I fail to see how buying any new clothes in the next decade could possibly lead to my being any happier.
Finally, If the six reasons above aren’t enough to convince you that spending time, effort and money on fashion is a waste of time – try this for a closing thought – think about it logically – the only people who really care what you look like probably care what they look like – this means that they are probably walking around either worrying about how crap they think they look, or lauding over how good they think they look on any particular day. Either way, they probably aren’t paying you that much attention, so you may as well not bother trying to impress them.
Posted by Realsociology on 1st March 2012
Believe it or not, I actually remember being 17 quite well – In between the bits where I generally revelled in my own wonderfulness, it mainly involved a lot of ‘misplaced youthful aspiration’ about my potential for doing great and wonderful things such as ‘travelling the world, astrally visiting other planets, joining Ashrams in India, sticking it to the man, smashing the system and generally ushering in utopia through the sheer force of youthful enthusiasm.
Having achieved precisely none of these goals – ten years down the line I ended up with a job – teaching Sociology – part of which (the tutor bit) involves assisting today’s 17 year olds to get a job once they’ve finished with their ‘educational transition’ period.
This is somewhat ironic – firstly because the Sociology bit of my job involves telling 17 year olds how crap work actually is and how little chance they’ve got of getting a decent one, secondly because when I was 17, getting a job wasn’t exactly high on my aspiration list, and thirdly, given today’s job market, I think the average 17-18 year old might actually have more of a chance of achieving all of my original teen-dreams than gaining employment – at least if we’re talking about formal, secure, and worthwhile employment that actually pays you enough to achieve a decent standard of living.
Now I hate to be a kill-joy (actually I love it – the more miserable I can make people, the happier I am), but I’ve got some pretty bleak news for any 17 year old looking forwards to their life after college -
For starters, for any 17-18 year old keenly looking to transition from education to work- if you look at Statistics from the department of education you discover that being 18 years of age hardly signifies the end of your education. According to the latest stats, of all 18 year old in the UK -
This effectively means that 80% of 18 year olds are currently in a state of education or welfare dependency, and only 20% are in ‘straight-up jobs’. In fact, you’ve almost got as much chance of being NEET as you have of just getting a regular job without training.
Moreover, many of the 20% who are ‘independent earners’ earn so little that this wage-independence cannot effectively be translated into any other meaningful form of independence, with 2/3rds of workers aged 18 earning the £6.00 an hour or less. According to the Youth Cohort Study (2009) which looks at what young people were doing aged 18 –
‘A total of 56% of 18 year olds were earning a wage at the time of interview either through their main activity or through part-time work to accompany full-time studies’. Wages, however, are low, with 63% of 18 year olds in employment earning £6.00 an hour or less, rising to 77% for those on Apprenticeships’ – Suggesting that many employers take advantage of the opportunity to pay young people relatively lower wages where possible.
These figures are in line with government guidance – The Current minimum wage for someone aged between 16 -17 is just £3.68, unless you’re unfortunate enough to have ‘landed’ an apprenticeship, in which case you might be earning as little as £2.60 an hour. This compares to £4.98 – the 18-20 rate, or £6.08 for the over 21s)
To put it in stark terms – if you go straight to work from college – you can expect an immediate future of several years of low wages, with the prospect of yet more work-based training until you start earning anything like a decent salary.
Life at the bottom, is of course, generally worse – and the stats seem to suggest your chances of ending up NEET increase as you get older – At the end of 2010, only 2.3 per cent of 16-year-olds, were NEET, compared to 6.8 per cent of 17-year-olds and 12.4 per cent of 18-year-olds. For most young people, being NEET is a temporary outcome as they move between different education and training options – surveys estimate that only 1 per cent of young people are NEET at ages 16, 17 and 18.
However, as you get older and your ‘educational opportunities’ dry up, the NEET figures increase dramatically, with the latest ONS data revealing that a total of 22.2%, or 1.04 million 16 to 24-year-olds were out of work in the three months to December 2011.
This excellent blog post on the Stumbling and Mumbling blog outlines some of the long term costs of youth unemployment – the starkest of which is that those who have been unemployed for more than six months before the age of 23 earned an average of 7% less than others even at the age of 42; this controls for educational qualifications.
If you can stomach three further years of studying, relative poverty and £30 000 of debt – you are much better off going to university…. You stand to earn about £600 000 more over the course of a 45 year career compared to those who stick with just A levels, and have twice as much chance of being in employment by age 24 compared to those with just GCSEs – although don’t expect to get a job immediately after graduating, as the graduate unemployment rate in the months following graduation currently stands at 25%.
Incidentally, just to depress you further, it’s worth adding that many young people’s life chances are further reduced by high housing costs according to this research by Shelter – some of the main findings include
* At a time when young people are facing extreme difficulties in finding jobs, high housing costs are affecting the ability of one in four 18-34 year olds to move for work, hampering economic recovery.
* Twenty-two per cent of 18-34 year olds have been forced to move back in or continue living with their parents because they are unable to afford to rent or buy their own home.
*Twenty per cent of this age group are delaying having children until they can afford to buy or rent their own home.
* Almost a third (31 per cent) of 18-34 year olds have had to continue living with a partner because they could not afford to live apart, or know someone in the same situation
So to any 17 year olds out there anticipating dreams of independence and material success in the immediate future, dream on….. for most of you, that goal is years away yet.
Having said this, please note that your life-chances do vary considerably depending on your social class and ethnic background – but more of that later.