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Sociology

Families 24/7

Children’s socio-emotional well-being and everyday life in families in a 24/7 economy.

Dates: 2011-2014
Funded by: Academy of Finland
Partners: JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä University, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland, University of Utrecht, Netherlands, University of Manchester 

About the project

In a 24-hour society, many parents have jobs that require them to work outside standard working hours (between 8am and 6pm) and to work weekends. In the UK, less than one fifth of parents with dependent children work standard hours. Sometimes, a non-standard working pattern means that parents can share childcare between a couple so that one parent can look after the children while the other is at work. In other cases, non-standard hours can increase the need for flexible childcare arrangements, either in nurseries, school clubs, or other formal providers, or informal arrangements for example with family members.

Very little is known about the impact that parents working non-standard hours has on everyday family life and children's wellbeing. This project aims to fill this gap in knowledge by comparing the experiences of parents who work standard and non-standard hours in three countries: the UK, Finland and the Netherlands. We aim to find out how parents manage work and childcare arrangements, how well they think these arrangements work, and how this affects family relationships.

How we are doing the research

We are using a variety of approaches to find answers to our research questions, including interviewing parents about their experiences, a web questionnaire for parents and collecting children's views via specially-designed electronic diaries, observations and storycrafting.

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Contact us

Dr Vanessa May (UK project leader): vanessa.may@manchester.ac.uk

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