Linking Historical Lives (Linked Lives): A Database with 160 Years of Life...


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Title Linking Historical Lives (Linked Lives): A Database with 160 Years of Life Courses of Brothers and Sisters (1850-2010)
Period 05 / 2010 - 04 / 2013
Status Current
Research number OND1339745
Data Supplier NWO


This infrastructure proposal involves the creation of a novel longitudinal database named Linked Lives. The database contains the life courses of 3.000 pairs of siblings born in the Netherlands between 1850 and 1932, whose lives cover the period of 1850 until today. A large existing database with life course data forms the point of departure: the Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN). The HSN is based on data from the population registers and the civil certificates (birth, marriage and death) and includes very rich data on the migration trajectories, occupational histories, the family of origin, and the religion of individuals. However, the HSN contains only data on the life courses of one person per family. The Linked Lives project involves the collection of similar information on the life courses of 3.000 siblings of the original HSN Research Persons. The resulting facility will be provided to the scientific community as a public release database. With Linked Lives we will investigate the role of siblings in (changing) patterns of social mobility and demographic behavior during the period of demographic transition and industrialization in the Netherlands. A first question that can be answered relates to inequalities within the family. How did the life courses of siblings differ as a result of their specific birth position, age and gender in the family? Secondly, we will examine interdependencies among siblings, gauging the impact of siblings on one another?s lives. A third field of inquiry relates to sibling-data as a way to measure intergenerational transmission or the extent to which life chances and demographic behavior were transmitted from parents to children. Information on the communities in which these siblings lived, which can be derived from the Hub for Aggregated Social History (HASH), will also be connected to the database. With these features taken together, Linked Lives will open up new horizons, offering family historians, historical demographers and historical sociologists a facility for large-scale, comparative, and multilevel studies of sibship and socio-demographic behavior in the life course for over a period of 160 years, covering the industrialization and modernization of Dutch society.

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Project leader Prof.dr. H.A.J. Bras

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