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Generations and Gender Survey (GGS): Towards a better understanding of relationships and processes in the life course.
Demographic Research. 2007 Nov 30; 17(14):389-440.The Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) is one of the two pillars of the Generations and Gender Programme designed to improve understanding of demographic and social development and of the factors that influence these developments. This article describes how the theoretical perspectives applied in the survey, the survey design and the questionnaire are related to this objective. The key features of the survey include panel design, multidisciplinarity, comparability, context-sensitivity, inter-generational and gender relationships. The survey applies the life course approach, focussing on the processes of childbearing, partnership dynamics, home leaving, and retiring. The selection of topics for data collection mainly follows the criterion of theoretically grounded relevance to explaining one or more of the mentioned processes. A large portion of the survey deals with economic aspects of life, such as economic activity, income, and economic well-being; a comparably large section is devoted to values and attitudes. Other domains covered by the survey include gender relationships, household composition and housing, residential mobility, social networks and private transfers, education, health, and public transfers. The third chapter of the article describes the motivations for their inclusion. The GGS questionnaire is designed for a face-to-face interview. It includes the core that each participating country needs to implement in full, and four optional submodules on nationality and ethnicity, on previous partners, on intentions of breaking up, and on housing, respectively. The participating countries are encouraged to include also the optional sub-modules to facilitate comparative research on these topics. (author's)