Chapter

Lone-parent households<sup>1</sup>

David M. Smith

in On the margins of inclusion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346018
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302872 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346018.003.0006
Lone-parent households1

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This chapter uses an ethnographic and life history approach to highlight how the choices of lone parents are shaped by the interaction between social policies, labour markets, and family structures; their assessment of labour market and training opportunities; and the social support networks that they are able to draw upon. It notes that lone-parent families have been a recurrent topic of public debate in Britain in the context of significant changes in family structure and the challenges to social policy that such changes pose. It observes that studies have consistently demonstrated that lone-parent status has major economic consequences and the growth of such households constitutes an increasingly prominent, and largely gendered, aspect of social exclusion. It adds that for a large proportion of lone parents across the EU their status is a strong indicator of poverty and disadvantage.

Keywords: life history; lone parents; social policies; labour markets; family structures; training opportunities; support networks; social exclusion; EU; disadvantage

Chapter.  10933 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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