08/09/2007

Atlas of identity-Where you live crucial to your future

The cradle-to-grave "atlas of identity",provides a visual representation of the stark social contrasts now dividing different areas of Britain, and even adjoining neighbourhoods.
It shows how the area in which an individual lives can be a strong predictor of their identity not only in terms of class but also health, family structure and likely lifespan.
Bethan Thomas, a researcher at the department of geography at the University of Sheffield and co-author of the study, said it showed clearly that disadvantage at birth tended to follow through each stage of life. "Every step of the way, your chances are much more constrained. This is not to be deterministic; obviously there are people from disadvantaged areas who do make that leap and people from the most advantaged who can't be bothered, but those cases are much less common."