Young people´s experiences of parental unemployment and economic adversity
2016 (English)In: Nordic Youth Research Symposium: Youth Moves – Voices – Spaces – Subjectivities, Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst , 2016, 40-40 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
While much is known about young people growing up in poor families, and how they experience the familys economic situation, little is known about young people who suddenly find themselves living in economic adversity. In the context of post-financial crisisSweden, where in the late 2000s/early 2010s large numbers of families with previously stable incomes found themselves in economic adversity, the objective of this research is to investigate how young people experience substantial decreases in household income as a consequence of parental unemployment. Adopting an agency perspective, focus is directed to the ways in which they reason about and respond to the family s new economic circumstances. Interviews with children and young people (N=45) whose parents had previously been in long-term employment but lost their jobs during the period 2010-2013 were carried out. While the results are largely in line with research on children and young people living in long-term poor families some difference emerged. In the current study self-excluding behaviour characteristic of avoidance-oriented strategies was not found. Unlike young people living in poverty where self-exclusion and the avoidance of exposure to situations where resource disparities are highlighted are common, the young people in the current study did not regard parental unemployment and the familys loss of income as stigmatizing. Rather, they expressed awareness of how macro-economic forces had impacted on their lives and, as active agents, developed strategies that enabled them to adjust to the familys new economic reality and even saw several positive outcomes with parent´s unemployment. The implications of this result indicate that socialworkers working with young people in families affected by periodic, rather than longterm unemployment need to reconsider interpretations of behavior that are rooted in the assumption that economic adversity generates stigma and shame.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst , 2016. 40-40 p.
Unemployment, parents, youth
Research subject Child and Youth studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-10785OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-10785DiVA: diva2:1079318
Nordic Youth Research Symposium 13, 15-17 June 2016. Trollhättan, Sweden.