Financial trajectories: how parents and children discussed the impact of the recession



MacLean A, Harden J & Backett-Milburn K (2010) Financial trajectories: how parents and children discussed the impact of the recession. Twenty-First Century Society, 5 (2), pp. 159-170.

This paper presents findings from a qualitative longitudinal study which investigated processes of negotiation between parents and their primary school-aged children in addressing issues raised by working parenthood. Three waves of fieldwork were conducted with 14 families living in Scotland under differing socio-economic and labour market conditions. Individual interviews were conducted with parents and children at waves 1 and 3, while wave 2 entailed family interviews. Experiences of unfolding conditions of economic uncertainty and recession were explored with a focus on how families were making sense of these changes in terms of their personal projects, aims and challenges. The data revealed three types of recession experience and showed how, within each, notions of economising or adapting to changing economic circumstances were articulated and incorporated into everyday family practices to differing extents. The findings also demonstrate the importance of understanding families’ reactions to the recession against the backdrop of their financial histories and anticipated futures.

General Social Sciences; History

Twenty-First Century Society: Volume 5, Issue 2

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/12/2010
Publication date online16/06/2010
PublisherInforma UK Limited

People (1)


Dr Alice MacLean

Dr Alice MacLean

Research Fellow, Institute for Social Marketing