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En erfarenhet rikare?: En kvalitativ studie av barns strategier och barnfattigdomens villkor i välfärdsstaten
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the context of the Swedish welfare state, the issue of child poverty has over the past decade become increasingly prominent within the political agenda. Most research on child poverty has been based on statistics and research on children’s everyday life and their experiences in situations of economic hardship has been in demand in international as well as Swedish research. The aim of this thesis is to explore and analyze children’s experiences of living within economic hardship as part of their identity work. In addition, it highlights how their agency can be understood as a way of dealing with their situation, as well as how child poverty – and the child position in a welfare state setting -  is understood and conceptualized by the society they live in.  The analysis was based on an interview study involving seventeen children between the ages of 6–18 in families living on or below the limit for receiving welfare benefits. The purpose of the interviews was to explore how these children experience economic hardship at home and among same-aged children, focusing their own strategies and agency.

The thesis uses the field of childhood sociology as a theoretical starting point, and the empirical findings are analyzed with an interactionist approach which highlights the meaning of interaction and agency in relation to identity work. The strategies deployed by the children in this study was interpreted in the context of the limited space for agency that the child position entails as well as how their positioning as children, by themselves and others, creates a new understanding of the way poverty is managed by them. This thesis seeks to problematize the issue of child poverty in Sweden by stressing its complexities.  The thesis also emphasizes that it would be a simplification to label these children as merely stigmatized since the status of poverty as a stigma for children can be questioned.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. , 94 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 85
Keyword [en]
childhood sociology, child position, poverty, welfare state, financial aid, identity, interaction, agency, strategy, stigma, qualitative interviews, participation
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-185346ISBN: 978-91-554-8550-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-185346DiVA: diva2:571574
Public defence
2013-02-01, Universitetshuset sal IX, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2013-03-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. (Inter)Active Interviewing in Childhood Research: on children’s identity work in interviews
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(Inter)Active Interviewing in Childhood Research: on children’s identity work in interviews
2010 (English)In: Qualitative Report, ISSN 1052-0147, Vol. 15, no 6, 1309-1327 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seeing identity as work produced in interaction is a starting point in this current study, were analyzing interviews with children living in economic hardship, and how everyday life in economic hardship in one way or another becomes significant for their identity work[DS1] ,  is the main empirical material. This article is intended to illustrate[RC2]  how to 1) combineing James A Holstein and Jaber F Gubrium’s active interview approach with elements from Erving Goffmans frame analysis, and 2) introduceing this approach as a fruitful way of analyzing children’s narratives. Also, by regarding the interview as interaction and thereby acknowledging the respondents’ participation in the research process, I argue that an interactive interview approach has both ethical and analytical advantages that should appeal to qualitative childhood studies.

Key words: Interviewing, childhood sociology, interaction, power, frames

 

 

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-121825 (URN)
Available from: 2010-03-30 Created: 2010-03-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Redefining participation?: On the positioning of children in Swedish welfare benefits appeals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Redefining participation?: On the positioning of children in Swedish welfare benefits appeals
2011 (English)In: Childhood, ISSN 0907-5682, E-ISSN 1461-7013, Vol. 18, no 2, 227-241 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article deals with the representation of children in the Swedish welfare state, and particularly how children and parents living in economic hardship are positioned in issues regarding financial aid. According to Article 12 in the UNCRC, children have a right to be heard 'in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child'. However, children are not participants in processes concerning welfare benefits, despite the effect that the outcome of these processes may have on children's everyday life. Using welfare benefits appeals as a starting point, the article argues that the impact of the centrality of work discourse in Swedish welfare policy further emphasizes children's position as passive and non-participants in the welfare discourse.

Keyword
benefits, exclusion, needs, participation, welfare state
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154915 (URN)10.1177/0907568210386252 (DOI)000290559900007 ()
Available from: 2011-06-13 Created: 2011-06-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
3. Barns strategier och ekonomisk utsatthet: knappa resurser som utgångspunkt för en förhandling av positionerna i familjen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Barns strategier och ekonomisk utsatthet: knappa resurser som utgångspunkt för en förhandling av positionerna i familjen
2012 (Swedish)In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 49, no 3, 173-188 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to discuss how children and adolescents experience everyday life in economic hardship and how a negotiation of the family positions can be linked to these experiences. The article takes its theoretical starting point in childhood sociology, and is based on an interview study involving 17 children between the ages of 6-18 in families living on or below the limit for receiving welfare benefits. The purpose of these interviews is to explore how these children experience economic hardship at home and among friends, focusing their own strategies and agency. I argue that the financial situation in these families do indeed challenge the way that the child position is traditionally understood, which also has implications for the children's identity work. Including children as participants in research therefore becomes crucial in order to fully understand the ramifications of child poverty.

Keyword
Fattigom, barn, familj, strategi, ansvar
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-184677 (URN)000209156000002 ()
Note

Web of Science title: Economic hardship and children's strategies - scarce resources as a starting point for negotiating family positions

Available from: 2012-11-12 Created: 2012-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Joining in on different terms: dealing with poverty in school and among 'peers'
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Joining in on different terms: dealing with poverty in school and among 'peers'
2013 (English)In: Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research, ISSN 1103-3088, E-ISSN 1741-3222, Vol. 21, no 2, 155-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to discuss how economic hardship is experienced in school and among same-aged groups, and to explore how children and youth affected by poverty manage their situation in the school setting. In relation to this, I problematize the relevance of the stigma concept and the 'peer group' concept. The article takes its starting point in childhood sociology, and is based on an interview study involving 17 children and young people, between the ages of 6 and 18, who live in economic hardship. I argue that the accounts of experiencing and dealing with poverty in school show the complexity of this issue, which leads to a re-exanimation of how economic hardship among children and young people is understood.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-184678 (URN)10.1177/1103308813477465 (DOI)000316760000003 ()
Available from: 2012-11-12 Created: 2012-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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