IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Living on the Edge: An American Generation's Journey through the Twentieth Century

25 May 2022, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

UCL Portico in the afternoon. UCL Image Store.

Join life course scholars Rick Settersten, and Glen Elder for a discussion of their recent book.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Bozena Wielgoszewska

The book 'Living on the Edge: An American Generation’s Journey through the Twentieth Century' (University of Chicago Press, 2021), tells the story of the rarely studied 1900 generation and is based on lifelong data drawn from the iconic Berkeley Guidance Study.

Against the backdrop of a century of revolutionary change, the book traces the 1900 generation’s social origins through education, marriage and childbearing, employment, and their later years.

The challenges faced by this generation, from the reorganisation of marriage and family roles and relationships to strategies for adapting to a dramatically changing economy, echo our own time.

Their experiences of rapid social change and disruption provide remarkable insights into life as we know it today.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in longitudinal studies. 

About the discussants

  • Profesor Heather Joshi - Professor Emerita at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Social Research Institute. She was its Director from 2003 to 2010, and its Deputy Director from 1994. She was the founder director of the Millennium Cohort Study and is the Executive Editor of Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. She was awarded a CBE in 2015 (OBE in 2002)  for services to Longitudinal and Women's studies.
  • Professor Andy Green - Professor of Comparative Social Science at University College London (Institute of Education ) and Director of the Centre on Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES).

Related links

About the Speakers

Richard A.Settersten Jr

Professor of Human Development and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Oregon State University

He is a specialist in life-course studies, with expertise spanning adolescence, adulthood, and aging. He has a strong record of experience conducting research and collaborating across disciplines and life periods. His research has often focused on the first and last few decades of adulthood, always with an eye toward understanding the whole of human life.

More about Richard A.Settersten Jr

Glen H.Elder Jr

Research Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

His research focuses on studying individuals and groups of people (i.e. birth cohort, etc.) through in-depth interviews and other measurements across different times in their life span with the objective of investigating how changing environments have influenced them.

More about Glen H.Elder Jr