Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy

Change, choice and constraint in family and work 

 

Principal Investigators: Jane Millar and Tess Ridge

Funder: Joesph Rowntree Foundation

Duration: October 2015 - January 2017

 

Project rationale and aims

About the project

This project will examine the nature and role of relationships, especially family relationships, in sustaining work and quality of life, and the experience, meaning and impact of security/insecurity and uncertainty in family life over time. 

Policy Context

Poverty rates for families remain high in the UK. Government policy is focused on reducing public expenditure. The social security and tax credit system have been targeted for substantial reductions. Work requirements have been strengthened and sanctions increased for failure to comply. A hostile view of poverty is dominating the political debate and the media. Being poor is portrayed as a lifestyle choice, and poverty is characterised, not by caring families struggling in adverse circumstances, but by chaotic lives driven by both ignorance and wilful selfishness. This political, economic and social context will form an important backdrop to the project, as we follow the families from the more supportive ‘welfare-to-work’ and anti-child poverty regime of the early 2000s into the more targeted world of austerity of the 2010s. 

The Study

The project will revisit 15 families (15 lone mothers and their children) who took part in our qualitative longitudinal study, The family work project: earning and caring in low-income households.

We will explore how the participants themselves identify what they believe were key points of choice and decision-making, what choices they thought they had, and why they think they acted as they did.

Aims

The aims of this round of the study are to explore:

  1. the nature and role of relationships, especially family relationships, in sustaining work and quality of life, 
  2. the experience, meaning and impact of security/insecurity and uncertainty in family life.  

Project outputs

Find out more about this project

Name: Prof Jane Millar
Title: Professor
Department: Dept of Social and Policy Sciences
Location: 10 West 3.60
E-mail: j.i.millar@bath.ac.uk
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 386711