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Earning and caring in families that have experienced divorce: a study of family law, social policy and family practices

Davies, Laura (2012) Earning and caring in families that have experienced divorce: a study of family law, social policy and family practices. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Davies_L_School of Sociology and Social Policy_PhD_2012.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
Restricted until 1 June 2018.


Much of current welfare policy directed towards the support of lone parents is intended to encourage earning as a primary responsibility for all, regardless of responsibilities for care. This thesis sets out to explore how these policy discourses diverge from or converge with the lived experiences of a sample of divorced or separated parents. The thesis analyses how individuals and their families experience the policy and legal process in the context of increasing levels of welfare conditionality. The ways in which the underlying assumptions inherent in these discourses intersect with the choices and preferences of the participants and their children are explored. In doing so, the thesis investigates the current gaps in knowledge around the potential impact of these policy developments on lone parents, non resident parents and their children as they re-negotiate their family lives post separation. The thesis contends that policy and legal structures could take a much greater account of care as both a practice and an ethic. A more holistic welfare policy model which regards interdependency as positive rather than negative could be fostered if we recognise that human flourishment comes from our relationships with others. I argue that the focus on employment as the primary duty appears to be informed by a flawed understanding both of the complexities of family relationships and of the realities of managing paid work alongside responsibility for domestic and care work as the sole adult in the home.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.589159
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2014 14:52
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2015 10:55
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5048

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