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Session Overview
RN13_05c: Families in the context of economic problems and crises I
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Vida Česnuitytė, Mykolas Romeris University & Vilnius University
Session Chair: Malgorzata Sikorska, University of Warsaw, Institute of Sociology
Location: UP.2.220
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road

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What Challenge Do Family Transitions launch To The Work Context Today? A Mix Method Research in Italy

Sara Mazzucchelli, Maria Letizia Bosoni


In the contemporary social context, family transitions become increasingly challenging and affect not only the family life but the whole social context and intertwine in particular with the work context.

With the term transition we mean periods of 'crisis', resulting from an event that modifies in a very significant way personal and family life and requires a process of redefinition so that a new equilibrium can be found. Such transitions are often invisible, but inevitably impact on professional life.

This topic was dealt within a broader research project “Ageless Talents” funded by Valore D. In the first phase (2017) a survey was carried out on a sample of 4962 women aged between 50 and 69: 73% of interviewed reports an event that significantly changed one's life, in particular separation / divorce, loss of a loved one, own illness or a family member.

Starting from this data a qualitative survey was carry out aimed at understanding personal experiences, problems and motivations underlying personal and family transitions.

Through the focus group methodology, we focused on the urgency of managing two emerging aspects: illness in the workplace (illness as a transition) and separations and divorces (separation or divorce as a transition). 11 companies associated with Valore D have joined, for a total of 42 over 50 workers from all categories: manager, executive, office worker, manual worker.

The discussion, audio-recorded and transcribed, was analyzed using the content analysis and the Tlab software (lexical and correspondence analysis).

We will present the results that emerged in the two different focus groups, also identifying the cultural and operational implications for the company contexts.

Anticipation And The Financial Consequences Of Relationship Dissolution For Women

Gert Thielemans, Dimitri Mortelmans

Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium

Past research has consistently shown that, after divorce, women suffer the most financially. Although there are substantial cross-national differences, men are shown to lose little income or in terms of equivalized household income, even improve their situation after the dissolution of a marriage. Coping strategies to deal with this financial downturn include increasing employment and finding a new partner.

On the other hand, recent findings have shown that the analyses of recovery time after divorce might be obscured due to anticipatory behaviour. If a significant amount of women in fact start coping with the financial consequences of an expected upcoming dissolution, then both recovery time after separation and the extent to which women are financially disadvantaged after divorce are likely underestimated.

In this study, we analyse whether or not women who anticipated an upcoming dissolution suffered less financially than those who did not, both in terms of timing to recovery and magnitude of the downturn immediately after. On the one hand, we base this research question on earlier findings that have shown that women who expect an upcoming dissolution are more likely to increase their employment intensity before the factual separation, whereas those who did not react in a similar way, but only after the couple stops living together. On the other hand, women have been shown to recover financially after divorce, albeit using different coping strategies. We test the hypotheses that women who anticipate dissolutions by increasing employment have lower financial downturns and faster recovery times.

Lone Parent Families and Food Poverty in three European Countries: A Mixed Methods Approach

Rebecca O'Connell

UCL, United Kingdom

In the years following the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent so-called austerity measures in some countries, household food insecurity has risen in Europe overall, although there are differences between countries. Families with children - and lone parent families in particular - are vulnerable to poverty and household food insecurity, yet little is known about how food insecurity varies by family type across Europe, how it has changed over time or how different types of families manage food in the context of poverty. Drawing on a European Research Council funded mixed methods study of Families and Food in Hard Times (ERC grant agreement n° 337977), the paper brings together analysis of quantitative and qualitative data to address this gap. The study focuses on three European countries that are contrasting in relation to austerity, poverty and lone parenthood: the UK, Portugal and Norway. Analysing annual repeat cross sectional data from the European Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for the years 2005 to 2016 it first examines the relationship between family type (lone parent vs. couple with children aged <18 years), income poverty and household food insecurity in the three countries. Drawing on qualitative interviews with parents (usually mothers) in each of the three countries it uses a case approach to analyse the challenges faced by particular families and the resources they mobilise to 'get by' in different contexts. It is suggested whilst there is a clear relationship between economic disadvantage and food insecurity, it is neither simple nor culturally universal. Hence a family social policy perspective that addresses the particular challenges faced by lone parents is vital to ensuring their health and social inclusion.

Influence Of The State Social Policy On Consumer Behaviour Of Family With Different Number Of Children

Svetlana Sivoplyasova1,2

1Institute of Social and Political Reserches Russian Accademy of Scienses; 2Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University)

The family income level is a crucial factor of consumer behaviour. It depends on the number of able-bodied and employment family members. At the same time, standard of well-being depends on a common number of members including dependants mainly children. In this connection, there is an unbiased regularity: birth of regular child decreases standard of well-being of the family. In these conditions, the state incarnates the measures of support of family with children carrying for reproduction and well-being of population as well, thereby smoothing negative economic effect.

It is considered to reach a positive effects of social-demographic policy it is necessary for the state to spend 2% of the budget. However, it’s not quite clear, will this spending level allow to provide for life of dignity for families with different number of children?

Spending for demographic policy have been increasing since 2007 in Russia. At this time, unique measures were implemented (for example, program of maternal capital, adopted child benefit and other). These measures represent enough large-scale payments. They affected consumer behaviour of families essentially.

This study is based on analysis of statistics of Russia and other countries on scales of the state support of families, its part in structure of income and spending depends on the number of children. This study deals with estimation of correlation between reproductive choice and transformation of the models of consumer behaviour of population.

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