Loneparents, leisure mobilities
and the everyday
Recent social and economic commentary on Ireland has tended to accentuate
the extreme changes associated with the Celtic Tiger era. Stories of ostentatious consumption patterns dominated discursive narratives in popular,
academic and policy forums. This was for good reason as trend data of all
descriptions attested to startling transformations in people’s lifestyles and
mobilities. To take just one example, data from the Census Statistics Office
(CSO) (2007; 2008) show that foreign overnight
Ireland is a turbulent place. This book engages readers with the contours of transformation of Irish society through a series of distinct episodes and sites where change can be confronted. The content of the book intersects with the boom and bust themes to explore the economic and social implications of the recession. The processes are as diverse as cross-border development, farming knowledges, food movements, and the evolution of traditional Irish music. The modernisation of Irish society during the Celtic Tiger and its subsequent demise was a 'spatial drama' involving transformation in the material landscape and the imaginative representation of the island. The first part of the book explores the revolving intersections of identity politics with place. It tracks the discovery of the ghost estate and the ways in which it has been implicated in debates about the Irish economic crash, complicating ideas of home and community. After a discussion on immigration, the book discusses the role of migrants in filling labour and skill shortages. The second part pays attention to questions of mobility and consumption in urban and rural contexts. The new Irish motorway network, free time, leisure and holidaying in the lives of lone parents during the Celtic Tiger, and the role of National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are discussed. The third part explores diverse cultural practices and some longstanding representations of Ireland. An autobiographical tour of the pub session, National Geographic's representations of Irish landscape and the current Irish imagination are the key concepts of this part.
Minister for Justice
and Equality. (Written Answers Nos. 134–141)
While Irish epistemological perspectives took a Nordic turn in relation to thinking
about parental leave, the answer from a Labour Party minister to a parlimentary
question privileged the vested intersts of Irish employers over the social protection
and decommodification of Irish working fathers.
Non-resident fathers and the liable relative provision
Fathers, especially non-resident ones, became central to Irish social policy
debates about welfare reform for lone-parents. This was not always the case
public expenditure cutbacks, and on women’s position in both
the formal labour market and in relation to unrecognised care work.
It will also look at the issues of domestic and sexual violence against
women, the female body as a site of struggle during the crisis, and the
ways in which women have organised to resist austerity.
As regards the labour market, there are contradictions in the way in
which women are being treated during the current crisis. While some
women, such as loneparents, find themselves being forced out of the
home to seek waged work
marriages of their parents. In
the aftermath, in 1960, a third of births of children of unwed parents were registered by both parents. Again, this change was partly
due to new attitudes towards divorce, since children with loneparents were more and more common. The transitional nature of the
time was also highlighted in the debates over the 1959 bill, which
showed three different, and sometimes conflicting, attitudes: a
concern for the children, an understanding of the ‘natural’ bond
between a mother and child, but also a continued assumption of a
then cohabiting couples (5.9 per cent). Such households would have been
exceptional in Ireland when Seamus and John, whose stories we examined in
Chapter 1, were starting their families.
Figure 2.1 provides an overview of family household composition in Ireland,
Denmark and Portugal in 2009, based on the European Survey on Income and
1 or both
The National Council for the Unmarried Mother and Her Child
labour – provided by middle-class married women debarred from paid
employment – dwindled after the war, when more such women were
in paid work, including social work. At the same time a larger stream
of qualified people, trained in social work and the social sciences, were
emerging from the universities, often keen to work for organisations
they saw as aiming at the radical improvement of society.
Another important change was that from the late 1960s there were
many more, and more diverse, lone-parent families as the numbers of
divorced, separated and unmarried parents
network may symbolise little more than a fruitless act of political and economic hubris.
In Chapter 6, ‘Loneparents, leisure mobilities and the everyday’, Bernadette
Quinn regrounds the discussion with a look at the challenges of one marginal
societal group and their space in contemporary Ireland. Her chapter is concerned with lifestyle and quality-of-life issues, particularly with the role of
free time, leisure and holidaying in the lives of loneparents during the Celtic
Tiger and its aftermath. As the majority of lone-parent families in Ireland are
offers up to 70 per cent of the cost of child care to any poor parent
who wishes to work.
Child tax credits are available for poor families.
Working families with children are now offered substantial income support
The working families tax credit system, as shown above, is designed to
have a major impact on children’s welfare.
Perhaps less directly, but nevertheless creating an impact on poorer
families with children, especially loneparents, a place for all 4-year olds is
not guaranteed at nursery school. In 2002 it was announced that the
government also intended for
Grassroots feminism/father think-tanks
Normative concern with idealised
egalitarian fathers and family diversity/
Marriage not privileged by
Normalisation of lone-parent families
Emphasis on shared-parenting
Weak malebreadwinner culture based on
dual-earner dual-carer family model
New politics of individualised and egalitarian
fatherhood, state feminism, gender-equal
parenting and family diversity
Family diversity crowded out/or
discouraged by social policy
Social pathology of lone-parent families
Emphasis on child maintenance