Relationships and income change: How means-tested benefit claimants draw on friendship and family relationships to smooth income and cope

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

What role do friendship and familial relationships play in coping with income change?
This paper uses the concepts of insecurity and coping to draw out the experience of means-tested benefit claimants in a small city in the UK. It will present early findings from a qualitative study of insecurity and income change in short periods and outline the relational strategies adopted by participants in order to ‘get by’ (Lister 2004).
Insecurity is commonly defined as lacking an adequate income and the lack of choice, freedom and dignity this entails (Silburn and Becker 2009; Orton 2015). Less attention has been paid to income stability and instability as a factor in insecurity, and the consequences for people on low incomes. Does income change and related change in the lives of means-tested benefit claimants impact on coping strategies? How do familial and friendship networks interact with not just a shortage of money but a shortage of money at particular times of the week, month and year? How much is one-off support and how much is provided over time in order to smooth income?
The paper will explore what role familial and friendship relationships can play in coping with the insecurity of low and unstable income, as well as whether strategies are differently adopted by those on different levels of low-income. Although not all participants in this study are in poverty, they are within the range of the mean-tested benefit system in the UK. This provides an opportunity to look at the impact of different levels of income on managing and coping with change. Particular attention will also be paid to the means-tested benefits system, including the new system of Universal Credit, and how it interacts with relational strategies for coping with low income.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2019
EventWHO CARES? RELATIONAL MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN THE DAY-TO-DAY SUBSISTENCE OF FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS STRUGGLING WITH POVERTY - Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 7 Feb 20198 Feb 2019
http://pagines.uab.cat/pobresaixarxes/en/Workshop_February2019

Workshop

WorkshopWHO CARES? RELATIONAL MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN THE DAY-TO-DAY SUBSISTENCE OF FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS STRUGGLING WITH POVERTY
CountrySpain
CityBarcelona
Period7/02/198/02/19
Internet address

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Relationships and income change: How means-tested benefit claimants draw on friendship and family relationships to smooth income and cope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this