Garthwaite, K., Power, M., Patrick, R., Tarrant, A. and Warnock, R. (eds.) Covid-19 Collaborations: Researching poverty and low-income family life during the pandemic, Policy Press: Bristol. Available open access here.
Tarrant, A., Way, L., and Ladlow, L. (2021) ‘The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on young fathers and the services that support them’, In: Garthwaite, K., Power, M., Patrick, R., Tarrant, A. and Warnock, R. (eds.) Covid-19 Collaborations: Researching poverty and low-income family life during the pandemic, Policy Press: Bristol.
Fathering and Poverty, Dr Anna Tarrant
Fathering and Poverty is based on the Leverhulme Trust funded study, Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care, conducted by Dr Anna Tarrant. The research explored the dynamics of men’s caring responsibilities in low-income families’ lives against a backdrop of engaged fatherhood and austerity.
This book is based on nearly seven years of research and scholarship and addresses a notable gap in knowledge; men’s experiences of family life in contexts of poverty and low-income.
The study employed a unique multigenerational methodology to uncover the family experiences of men in different generational positions. The book therefore uniquely features the voices of young fathers, single fathers who are primary caregivers, and men who are kinship carers
The empirical contribution of the book aims to challenge and critique how men in low-income contexts are constructed. These men are often framed negatively in public and policy discourse and as problems to be solved rather than assets to their families and communities. They are often assumed to be absent, feckless and at worst, a risk to their children.
The book argues that men’s perspectives represent an absent presence in these debates, such that they are simultaneously hyper visible in policy and public accounts yet their experiences and the complexities and dynamics of their family lives, identities and relationships across the lifecourse, remain absent.
Employing a new concept of family participation, the book interrogates how men’s experiences of family are shaped by the resources available and the constraints upon them, considering intersections of gender, generation and work, as well as the impact of austerity and welfare support.
A major finding is just how important third sector services are for enabling men with caring responsibilities to access resources on behalf of their families. When services forget about or ignore dads, especially those who want to be there for their children, the consequences for those men, their children and society more generally are pernicious.
Fathering and Poverty has wide ranging appeal because it touches on topics as diverse as marginalised fathering, poverty, grandparenting, kinship care, family, the lifecourse and generational identities, austerity politics, welfare, housing, and men’s support needs.
“A sensitive and moving portrayal of men ‘on the margins’, the ebbs and flows of their family contributions and the challenges they face in securing a caring role. Gets to the heart of debates about poverty, gender and the shaping of contemporary families.” Emerita Professor Bren Neale, University of Leeds
“An insightful and nuanced account of the relationship between masculinities, care and financial resources in the lives of fathers who are living on low incomes.” Esther Dermott, University of Bristol
“In this engaging book, previously muted voices and absent experiences of fathering in low-income circumstances are placed centre stage. The lifecourse research takes on over-simplified constructs of father absence and provides compelling insights into men’s patterns of presence in fluid and materially uncertain contexts. An overdue addition to the literature on men, fatherhood and caring relationships.” Tina Miller, Oxford Brookes University