102 research outputs found

    What You Do Versus Who You Are: Home-Learning Activities, Social Origin and Cognitive Skills among Young Children in Ireland

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    This article explores the role that home-learning activities (HLAs) play in the relationship between social origin and cognitive development using an Irish birth cohort study, Growing Up in Ireland. Numerous studies using different measures of the home-learning environment (HLE) have shown that it has considerable influence on young children’s cognitive development, and that the HLE is often linked to social origin. We find a social gradient in vocabulary even at age 3 years, with the largest gaps for mothers’ education. Family income, mothers’ education, and social class are also associated with vocabulary independently, though these associations are reduced by adding all three measures simultaneously. The extent of HLAs helps explain a very small part of the education differences and none of the income or social class differences in vocabulary. We find some evidence that HLAs may be more salient for children from families with low income and lower social class backgrounds in terms of supporting vocabulary development, thereby compensating somewhat for disadvantage. HLAs also appear to encourage vocabulary development between age 3 and 5, and play a role in reducing the gap in vocabulary between high- and low-income children.</p

    Immigration, identity, and anonymity: intentionally masked intolerance in Ireland

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    Newcomers to Ireland confront a context of reception shaped by large-scale historical emigration and more recent immigration defined by an increasingly diverse set of origin contexts, both within and outside the European Union (EU). How has the Irish population responded to these groups, and how openly do Irish residents express their views toward different immigrant groups? We test this response using a survey experiment, which offered respondents an anonymous way to express any negative attitudes to immigrant groups they may have had. Results from the survey experiment show that Irish residents’ support for Black and Polish immigrations is overstated when expressed directly. In contrast, their sentiment toward Muslim immigrants is notably insensitive to the level of anonymity provided, indicating little difference between overt and covert expression of support (or antipathy). In other words, when race/ethnicity or EU origin is made salient, Irish respondents are more likely to mask negative sentiment. When Islam is emphasized, however, Irish antipathy is not masked. We find that in-group preferences, instead of determining support in an absolute sense, shape the reluctance with which opposition to immigrant groups is overtly expressed

    Understanding differences in children's reading ability by social origin and gender: The role of parental reading and pre- and primary school exposure in Ireland

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    Given growing concerns about disadvantaged boys' achievement and disengagement from learning, this paper investigates differences in reading ability by gender and social origin. It uses data from the Growing Up in Ireland study to investigate how parents' approach to learning at home and children's exposure to early care and ed-ucation contribute to these differences. We find that both children's gender and their family's social class in-fluence their cognitive development between age 3 and age 9, though the effects are additive, with little variation in the gender gap across social class groups. Parents from more advantaged social classes read more to their 3 -year-old children than other parents, yet by age 5, when most children have started primary school, these class differences in parental reading are much lower. Parental reading, ECCE participation and length of primary school exposure were found to facilitate language development and partly explain differences in reading scores at age 9, although strong direct effects of social class remained, even accounting for vocabulary score at age 3. The benefits from parental reading, ECCE and exposure to school are broadly similar for boys and girls, though there is some evidence that boys benefit more than girls from longer exposure to school

    Austerity, short-term economic recovery and public perception of immigration in Ireland

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    The economic crisis of 2007/2008 did not affect all members of the European Union (EU) to the same extent. In the Irish case, the economic crisis and subsequent period of austerity paralleled an erosion in public support for immigration. However, little is known about how public perception changed during a period of short-term economic recovery, like that experienced in Ireland from 2014 to 2018. Using repeated cross-sectional survey data unique to Ireland, this work captures change in attitudes towards immigrants during the pre-crisis and late-austerity periods. Moreover, this research evaluates the importance placed on two immigrant attributes intimately linked to the labour market — education and skills. We provide evidence of an emergence of more moderate views of immigration during the recovery period, but only in the perceived importance of educational qualifications. Perception of skills remains notably unchanged. Of note, both attributes remain more important in the public eye relative to before the economic crisis. In other words, short-term economic recovery does not automatically translate into a more welcoming reception. We confirm that crises and periods of austerity erode public perception of newcomers, particularly when immigration is framed in terms of skill-based economic contribution. However, this work reveals some of the scars of a rapid and deep economic downturn alter the context of reception in a durable way, which remains notably resistant to short-term recovery

    Monitoring decent work in Ireland. ESRI Research Series June 2021.

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    Work is core to people’s livelihood, their identity, and their well-being. Having a decent job gives workers adequate financial resources and contributes to their physical and mental health, their personal control and sense of purpose. Being unemployed or in poor quality work can have a damaging impact on other areas of life, including health, housing, or income. There has been extensive scholarship on labour market inequalities in Ireland, and while these studies offer significant insight into understanding the nature of work, they do not adopt a rights-based approach. This report considers decent work in Ireland in the context of international obligations about core minimum standards of work and nondiscrimination. It applies social science methods to monitoring international commitments on economic and social rights. This report develops a set of indicators for monitoring and then provides baseline figures on access to, and experience of, decent work across different groups in Ireland. Monitoring can provide evidence for policymakers, highlighting at-risk groups; it can inform the assessment of Ireland by UN international treaty monitoring; it can help to highlight data gaps and measurement limitations; and will also ideally inform public debate. The purpose is to highlight deficits or challenges in realising the right to decent work, rather than explaining the processes underlying these outcomes. Following a review of international measurement frameworks and consultation with stakeholders in Ireland, the report identifies six key dimensions of work and corresponding indicators: access to work; adequate earnings; employee voice; security and stability of work; equality of opportunity and treatment in employment; and health and safety. These are then applied to available survey data collected on the eve of the pandemic. Any assessment of the equality impact of the pandemic will be informed by understanding the situation prior to the pandemic. As is usual for a monitor, results for each indicator are presented as rates or scores for different groups and are not modelled. Therefore, the analysis does not allow us to identify the causes of group differences

    Work-life conflict in Europe. ESRI Research Bulletin 202101 February 2021.

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    This bulletin summarises key findings on factors associated with work-life conflict in Europe from a body of research, mainly using large representative surveys, over the past 20 years

    Monitoring report on integration 2020. ESRI Report December 2020.

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    Integration not only allows immigrants to contribute to the economic, social, cultural and political life of their host country, but is also important for social cohesion and inclusive growth. This report considers how non-Irish nationals are integrating into Irish society. Specifically, it considers how non-Irish nationals compare to the Irish population in terms of employment rates, educational qualifications, income and poverty rates, health outcomes, housing and participation in Irish political life

    Origin and integration: a study of migrants in the 2016 Irish Census. ESRI Report June 2020.

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    Many migrant groups have higher educational attainment but higher unemployment levels, according to a new ESRI study

    Hidden versus revealed attitudes: A list experiment on support for minorities in Ireland. ESRI Report July 2020.

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    New research published today reveals the gap between what people say in public about their attitudes to minorities in Ireland, and what they say when afforded anonymity. The study challenges previous assumptions about people’s views, and has implications for policy approaches to foster interculturalism
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