Download Lone mothers in the UK, have their lives got better since the transition from welfare to work? PDF

TitleLone mothers in the UK, have their lives got better since the transition from welfare to work?
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size2.7 MB
Total Pages241
Document Text Contents
Page 2

2


Abstract

The UK governments in recent history have built a strong paternalistic argument describing paid

work as an essential route to improve lone parents’ mental and physical well-being. This thesis

therefore sets out to explore the question of

How does the transition from social assistance benefits into paid work affect the overall subjective

well-being of lone mothers and their quality of life?

On the impacts of the transitions to work on the well-being of lone parents, some less-researched

areas are found when adopting an analytical framework of the Personal Well-being Index (PWI),

and they are: quality of relationships, future security, community-connectedness, safety, and

leisure. This thesis adopted a qualitative method to fill the gap. In-depth interviews were

conducted with some 20 lone mothers with at least one child aged six or under and who had

recently returned from social assistance benefits to paid work.

Overall, the evidence shows that lone mothers may not be ‘better off’ in work either financially,

emotionally, socially or physically. What is clear however, is that they are ‘better-off’ being free

from the stigma associated with claiming social assistance benefits. This raises two policy

implications. One, the social stigma is being generated and effectively delivered by political tactics

to get people off benefits, and it damages the well-being of lone mothers not only during the

period of being on benefits, but also for long after their transition. Two, while low out-of-work

benefits and sanction regimes are considered as the right measures to encourage claimants to

accept a ‘reasonable’ job because it would ultimately benefit their own well-being, it is clear that

taking ‘any work’ is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Moving to any type of work in fact carries a

great risk that threatens the well-being of the lone mothers, as it can equally be stigmatising,

isolating, insecure, and unsafe, and not a route to becoming independent. However, rather it

provides good and legitimate reasons for: reducing quality time with children, being unavailable

to family and friends, and having leisure time that is informal, irregular, and fragmented, and also

for not prioritising their own physical health.

Page 240

240


http://www.jblearning.com/samples/076375126X/LARSEN_CH03_PTR.pdf [accessed on 23rd

February 2016].

The Daycare Trust. (2013). Childcare costs survey 2013. London: The Daycare Trust.

The International Wellbeing Group. (2006). Personal Wellbeing Index – Adult, 4th Edition Edition.

Mebourne: Australian Centre on Quality of LIfe, Deakin University.

The International Wellbeing Group. (2013). Personal Wellbeing Index – Adult, 5th Edition Edition.

Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of LIfe, Deakin University.

The Research Ethics Guidebook. (N.D). Involving participants. Online. Available online at:

http://www.ethicsguidebook.ac.uk/Involving-participants-181 [accessed on 23rd February 2016].

Thomas, A. (2007). Lone Parent Work Focused Interviews: Synthesis of findings. Department for

Work and Pensions Research Report No 443

Timmermans, S. and Tavory, I. (2012). Theory construction in qualitative research from grounded

theory to abductive analysis. Sociological Theory, 30(3), 167-186.

Tomlinson, W. M. and Kelly, P. G. (2013). Is everybody happy? The politics and measurement of

national wellbeing. Policy & Politics 41(2):139-157.

Veenhoven, R. (1984). Conditions of happiness. Springer Science & Business Media.

Veenhoven, R. (1991). Is happiness relative?. Social Indicators Research 24(1):1-34.

Voydanoff, P. (2001). Incorporating community into work and family research: A review of basic

relationships. Human Relations 54(12):1609-1637.

Wattis, L., Standing, K. and Yerkes, M.A.. (2013). Mothers and work–life balance: exploring the

contradictions and complexities involved in work–family negotiation. Community, Work & Family

16(1):1-19.

Watts, B., Fitzpatrick, S., Bramley, G. and Watkins, D. (2014). WELFARE SANCTIONS AND

CONDITIONALITY IN THE UK. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. [Online]. Available at:

http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/Welfare-conditionality-UK-Summary.pdf [Accessed 31 August

2015]

Walker, R. (2014). The shame of poverty. Oxford University Press: USA.

Whitworth, A. (2013a). Lone Parents and Welfare‐to‐Work in England: A Spatial Analysis of

Outcomes and Drivers. Social Policy & Administration 47(7):826-845.

Page 241

241


Whitworth, A. (2013b). Tailor-made? Single parents’ experiences of employment support from

Jobcentre Plus and the Work Programme. London: Gingerbread.

Whitworth, A. and Griggs, J. (2013). Lone parents and welfare-to-work conditionality: necessary,

just, effective? Ethics and Social Welfare 7(2):124-140.

Wiggan, J. (2005). Employment and budgeting decisions of low-income working families over a

period of welfare reform. Unpublished: University of Nottingham.

Wiggan, J. (2012). Telling stories of 21st century welfare: The UK Coalition government and the

neo-liberal discourse of worklessness and dependency. Critical Social Policy 32(3):383-405.

Wilkinson, R. and Pickett, K. (2010). The spirit level: why equality is better for everyone. Penguin

UK.

Williams, F. (2001). In and beyond New Labour: towards a new political ethics of care. Critical

Social Policy 21(4):467-493.

Wills, E. (2009). Spirituality and subjective well-being: Evidences for a new domain in the personal

well-being index. Journal of Happiness Studies 10(1):49-69.

Wilson, J. (2000). Volunteering. Annual review of sociology: 215-240.

Wright, S. (2009). Welfare to work. In Understanding social security, Millar, J. (ed). Bristol: Policy.

Women’s Budget Group. (2015). The impact on women of the Autumn Statement and

Comprehensive Spending Review 2015. Women’s Budget Group. Available online at:

http://wbg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/WBG_CSR_FullResponse_final_8Dec15.pdf

(Accessed on 23rd Febuary 2016)

World Health Organization. (1946). CONSTITUTION OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. Basic

Documents, Forty-fifth edition Edition: WHO.

World Health Organization. (1979). Psychosocial Factors and Health: New Program Directions. In

Toward a New Definition of Health, Ahmed,P. and Coelho, V. G. (Eds). UK: Springer.

Yeo, A. (2007). Experience of work and job retention among lone parents: An evidence review.

Department for Work and Pensions Research Report no 37.

Similer Documents