Money within the Household

Full workshop group

Earlier this month, DSPI hosted an international workshop on ‘Money within the Household’, organised by Fran Bennett (DSPI), with Tania Burchardt (LSE) and Gill Main (University of Leeds).

23 participants attended the 3-day event, held in plenary throughout, with speakers from the global south and north. The workshop was funded by the John Fell Fund, Social Policy Association, and the WISE Research Centre of Glasgow Caledonian University, and encouraged participation from a variety of academic positions (including postgraduate students), and from a range of disciplines.

The ways in which money is negotiated and managed within the household are affected by many developments. Family and household structures are in flux and under pressure. There are growing expectations on individuals to organise their own financial provision. Children are increasingly recognised as having their own agency within the family. Revised legal arrangements and policies may have implications for how households manage their finances.

New methods are also being developed in this area of research. A wider variety of household structures is being explored, including complex and multi-generational households, in an expanded range of contexts. New policy areas are opening up, especially in the global south. These issues were addressed within the workshop, and connections made between different topics as well as between individual researchers. Postgraduate students commented on the unique opportunity an event like this gave them to reconsider the ‘story’ of their research.

Lively discussion centred around the research objectives - to examine tensions in recent developments in within household resources and relationships and their implications; to widen analysis beyond the traditional nuclear couple; to forensically examine socio-legal aspects of family finances; to look inside the household at individuals and their relative resources; and to draw out the implications of policy for individuals within the household.

The workshop was highly successful and will now form the basis for future collaboration and mutual exchange on a key issue of topical and international concern, including planned publications.