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  • Author or Editor: Esther Dermott x
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The largest UK research study on poverty and social exclusion ever conducted reveals startling levels of deprivation. 18m people are unable to afford adequate housing; 14m can’t afford essential household goods; and nearly half the population have some form of financial insecurity. Defining poverty as those whose lack of resources forces them to live below a publicly agreed minimum standard, this text provides unique and detailed insights into the nature and extent of poverty and social exclusion in the UK today. Written by a team of leading academics, the book reports on the extent and nature of poverty for different social groups: older and younger people; parents and children; ethnic groups; men and women; disabled people; and across regions through the recent period of austerity. It reflects on where government policies have made an impact and considers potential future developments. A companion volume Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK Volume 2 focuses on different aspects of poverty and social exclusion identified in the study.

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The paper provides a descriptive analysis of non-resident fathers in the UK in relation to living standards and social relationships. Drawing on data from the large-scale, nationally representative UK Poverty and Social Exclusion 2012 study the paper highlights that non-resident fathers have higher levels of poverty and deprivation, and lower levels of social support than do fathers with resident-only children. The paper therefore addresses the situation of a relatively ignored subpopulation and contributes to ongoing discussions about the limitations of the household as the unit of analysis for measuring living standards by noting the potential importance of extrahousehold financial responsibilities.

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This chapter talks about the challenges and value of engaging with ‘big data’ for fatherhood researchers. It argues that the arrival of new forms of data presents genuinely exciting possibilities for tackling important questions that have been either inadequately addressed, or sidelined, in previous work. The discussion contributes to setting the agenda for near future empirical studies of fatherhood through assessing the potential of newly available methods and, by implication, the limitations of those currently used. The challenge of big data is more profound than proposing a shift to include different methods of data collection; it requires social scientists to rethink the questions about fathers and fatherhood, and work with other disciplines to do so.

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Volume 1 - The Nature and Extent of the Problem
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The largest UK research study on poverty and social exclusion ever conducted reveals startling levels of deprivation. 18m people are unable to afford adequate housing; 14m can’t afford essential household goods; and nearly half the population have some form of financial insecurity.

Defining poverty as those whose lack of resources forces them to live below a publicly agreed minimum standard, this text provides unique and detailed insights into the nature and extent of poverty and social exclusion in the UK today.

Written by a team of leading academics, the book reports on the extent and nature of poverty for different social groups: older and younger people; parents and children; ethnic groups; men and women; disabled people; and across regions through the recent period of austerity. It reflects on where government policies have made an impact and considers potential future developments.

A companion volume Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK Volume 2 focuses on different aspects of poverty and social exclusion identified in the study.

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This chapter makes the case for reasserting the importance of gender to poverty and social exclusion.We argue that gender matters to understanding poverty, given the continued relevance of gender to involvement in paid and unpaid work, and caring responsibilities, across the lifecourse. However, academics and policy makers need to reconfigure gendered poverty as more than simply studying ‘poor women’. Our analysis explores the circumstances of both women and men, and how gender intersects in significant ways with age and household type. We also show that gender differences emerge not in relation to deprivation but also in economising practices that men and women adopt to protect their living standards with women more like to cut back than men. Finally, our work highlights the need for poverty researchers to acknowledge the importance of both household and individual level measures.

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This chapter provides an overview of the relationship between parenting and poverty in the UK. We focus on the economising practices couple and particularly lone parents resort to in order to reduce living costs and the extent to which poorer parents are likely to engage in widely promoted parent-child activities. We find that despite engagement in the labour market as well as support from state, family and friends, parenting remains expensive and for those on low income associated with self-sacrifice and prioritisation of children’s material, social and educational needs. We also find that most parents, regardless of their income, have similar levels of engagement in parenting activities, casting doubts over political claims of widespread ‘poor parenting’.

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Drawing on nationally representative surveys, this paper describes the contemporary relationship between gender and poverty in Britain and changes between 1999 and 2012. Poverty rates between men and women have converged: women today are only marginally poorer than men. Our analysis reveals that female lone parents‘ poverty rates remain exceptionally high, the situation of older women has markedly improved, and there is an emerging poor group of solo-living men. We therefore argue that gendered analysis of poverty needs to consider the circumstances of men as well as women, and that some of the standard feminisation of poverty arguments require revision.

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The ‘involved’ father, who is emotionally and economically engaged, has become a recognisable ideal in many Western societies. Policy changes have to varying degrees endorsed practices of involvement especially around the time of birth and during the early weeks and months of a child’s life. Discursive changes are discernible too as men engage a language of caring, bonding and emotional, intimate connection through ‘being there’ as a father. And research on the everyday practices of fathers also indicates some degree of change. But how far are these shifts indicative of a new type of fatherhood? In this article we document key research findings, assess their significance and most importantly assess what is the cumulative effect of these changes. We conclude that while contemporary practices of fathering must be understood and explained within broader cultural and economic milieu, the multiplicity of shifts does indeed infer a new durability.

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Researching Everyday Lives

In this exciting book, leading fatherhood scholars from Europe and Scandinavia offer unique insights into how to research fathers and fatherhood in contemporary society.

Outlining research methods in detail, including examples of large scale studies, online research, surveys and visual and aural methods, they explore how each approach worked in practice, what the benefits and pitfalls were, and what the wider and future application of the chosen research methods might be.

Covering a wide range of subjects from non-resident fathers to father engagement in child protection, this major contribution to the field also critiques and addresses the notion that fathers, especially young fathers, can be ‘hard to reach’. Essential reading for both students and policy makers in a fast-growing area of interest.

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This introductory chapter explains how different research questions and methods can contribute to better understanding of contemporary fathers, fatherhood, and fathering. Given the enhanced methodological diversity and increased sophistication of methods across the social sciences, embracing qualitative and quantitative approaches, traditional (such as interviewing) and contemporary approaches (such as netnography and visual methods), and general ‘handbooks’ offering basic introductions to social research have limited use for advanced researchers and students. The book aims to link detailed concerns about conducting individual projects to wider methodological debates concerning the value of different forms and sources of data, the negotiation of research relationships, and the impact of research findings on participants, policy makers, employers, and a wider public.

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