The International Journal of Urban Labour and Leisure has given over this
issue to research students to present the research they have conducted.
Our first paper
seeks to use secondary data to obtain representative results for the UK
population with regard to the key components of the persisting gender pay
gap. It then quantifies them to assess the contribution of each factor to
the remaining gender pay gap in the UK. The research finds that certain
factors explain the gender pay gap.
Although some of the factors
might be interrelated for example, Occupational Segregation and part-time work
there is a strong possibility that discrimination is embedded not only in the
policies, processes and systems of the occupational structure, but also within
factors associated in the past with the acquisition of education, training and
Our second paper attempts to examine the role of gender in the internet
relationships individuals have. This research used semi-structured interviews to
identity reasons behind why people liberate themselves from their gendered
identities in cyberspace.
Findings suggested that people gender-switch online because: they are able to
explore the fragmented nature of their identities; they experience some of the
power that comes with becoming a member of the opposite sex; they have a great
deal of control whilst in cyberspace and experiment with this control; the
absence of the physical body makes it possible for people to gender-switch and
the people that are most likely to gender-switch are cross-dressers. The
findings generally concluded that in cyberspace, people can liberate themselves
from their gendered identities, despite some discussion into the constraints
Our third paper
examines the current Labour government's target to have 70% of all lone parents
in employment by 2010. The UK government has introduced welfare to work policies
to help achieve this target, such as the New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP). This
piece of research looks at the current employment status of a sample of lone
mothers and explores whether such policy initiatives have had an impact on their
lives in regards to employment. Overall it was found that there may be issues
regarding the success of the programme with at present not being able to make
lone mothers aware of it in the first place. However, the deal itself was
associated with various positive outcomes on mothers employment status.
Employment of lone mothers is a complex topic, they make a diverse social group,
government and other relevant organisations have to bare this in mind when
designing such employment policies directed at lone mothers in future.
Our final paper examines healthy eating as a major concern for public health.
Initially, this study examines the trends of contemporary food culture by
sociologists and the marketing powers of promotion to increase student awareness
on healthy eating. A discussion on Government policies indicates the efficacy of
the Government to reach students with their healthy eating promotion in this
country. This study uses qualitative research methods to determine the awareness
of the students, on healthy eating and their opinions on the Government’s
attempt to promote a healthy nation.
Based on the data gathered in this research, an evaluation was made on whether
healthy eating promotion is effective in today’s student society. In this study,
student choices of food were shown to be primarily affected by price, taste and
peer pressure. This is in contrast with the available literature which suggests
that social class, culture, the food industries and Government campaigns are the
main influences on people’s eating habits.