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Coping with hard times: the role that support networks play for lone mother families in times of economic crisis and government austerity

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This article describes how lone mother families use their personal relationships to adapt to changing conditions in the wider society and economy. During the period 2007–15, the UK experienced insecurity in the labour market, a rising cost of living, radical welfare reforms and a diminished standard of living for many. Hard times such as these put the spotlight on questions related to how vulnerable groups such as lone mothers experience, cope with, and adapt to socioeconomic crises. This article addresses such questions by drawing on qualitative evidence collected through in-depth interviews with 30 lone mothers. The article documents the experiences of these lone-mother families living through economic recession and austerity. The evidence suggests that whether or not a given lone mother is able to cope with and adapt to hard times is linked to her capacity to create, sustain and mobilise a social support network.
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Keywords: GOVERNMENT AUSTERITY; LONE MOTHERS; RECESSION; RELATIONSHIPS; SOCIAL NETWORKS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 March 2018

This article was made available online on 08 June 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Coping with hard times: The role that support networks play for lone mother families in times of economic crisis and government austerity".

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