Depletion through social reproduction and contingent coping in the lived experience of parents on Universal Credit in England

Journal article


Fawcett, R., Nunn, A. and Gray, E. 2023. Depletion through social reproduction and contingent coping in the lived experience of parents on Universal Credit in England. Social Politics. pp. 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxad018
AuthorsFawcett, R., Nunn, A. and Gray, E.
Abstract

We report data from longitudinal qualitative interviews with thirteen people claiming Universal Credit (UC) immediately before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in England. The article utilizes concepts from feminist theory: “Social Reproduction” and “Depletion.” We make several novel contributions, including bringing depletion into conversation with the related concept of “contingent coping.” We argue that the lived experience of UC involves material and emotional depletion, but that UC also helps recipients to “cope” contingently with this depletion. In this sense, depletion through social reproduction is an ongoing and harmful state of being. We show how highly conditional and disciplinary welfare policies both partially mitigate but also accentuate structural pressures associated with an unequal, insecure, and competitive labor market.

Keywordsgender; social reproduction; inequality; welfare; universal credit; poverty
Year2023
JournalSocial Politics
Journal citationpp. 1-24
PublisherOxford Academic
ISSN 1468-2893
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxad018
Web address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/sp/advance-article/doi/10.1093/sp/jxad018/7233470
Accepted author manuscript
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Aug 2023
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License: CC BY 4.0
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