Lots of Children, Little Work: The Lives of Large Families on Welfare
Although large families with three or more children are in decline, they are likely to be disadvantaged, living in poverty, and receiving welfare benefits. Having lots of children, combined with unemployment and relationship breakdowns, almost inevitably leads to economic and social deprivation. This dissertation project aims to explore and understand the lives of large, underprivileged families who live under a twofold uncertainty: unreliable employment and unstable partnerships. Why do these families become large and why are they unable to escape poverty? Qualitative interviews are conducted to examine the interplay of family formation, employment, and partnerships. How do mothers and fathers in poor families perceive and explain their own economic and social deprivation and that of others in similar situations? An attempt is also made to identify the forms of stigmatization that confront poor families and how these families respond to them. Project duration: October 2010 to December 2013.