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Title: Parental responsibility for paid employment and social reproduction: children’s experiences in middle class and working class households in England
Authors: Pimlott-Wilson, Helena
Keywords: Children
Social class
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: © Sage; Pion
Citation: PIMLOTT-WILSON, H., 2015. Parental responsibility for paid employment and social reproduction: children’s experiences in middle class and working class households in England. Environment and Planning A, 47(9), 1892-1906 .
Abstract: Over the last forty years, the labour market has undergone considerable change in the shift from an industrial to post-industrial economy. Profound economic, social and political developments have resulted in the feminisation of the labour force. Employment for parents, and increasingly mothers, is positioned by government policy as a remedy to child poverty at a time when individual responsibility for financial provision intensifies under austerity measures. Geographers have explored the unequal burdens of care borne by women and the gendered moral rationalities which shape labour market attachment from the perspective of adults. This paper shifts this focus to take account of children’s understandings of the gendered responsibilities of parents in middle and working class families in relation to employment and social reproduction. Firstly, it considers the persistence of the male breadwinning role in middle class households, resulting in mothers’ paid work being viewed as supplementary by children. Secondly, the paper explores how children understand labour market insecurity for working class fathers and how this impacts upon their mothers, compelling women into employment to bolster the family income. Thirdly, the paper gives consideration to the experiences of those children who live with the everyday reality of low-paid, insecure parental employment, as the negative effects of insecure work permeate the family. In conclusion, the paper highlights the importance of considering children’s perceptions of gendered parenting roles both in the here and now, but also as young people look towards their own family and labour market futures.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Environment and Planning A and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308518X15597145
Sponsor: This research was sponsored by the ESRC and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/0308518X15597145
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/18008
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308518X15597145
ISSN: 1472-3409
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

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