Living Reference Work Entry

Families, Intergenerationality, and Peer Group Relations

Volume 5 of the series Geographies of Children and Young People pp 1-18

Date: Latest Version

Family Relations in Times of Austerity: Reflections from the UK

  • Sarah Marie HallAffiliated withGeography, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester Email author 


This chapter examines the ways in which family relationships and everyday practices may be open to change and contestation in times of austerity. While an extant body of literature explores changing familial relations as a result of social and cultural transformations, there remain pertinent questions concerning how such intimate relationships are impacted by economic upheaval. This issue is particularly timely, given the widespread impacts of austerity policies in the UK and across Europe currently. Drawing on insights from literature and supported by family ethnographies in the UK, this chapter sheds light on this very topic. Using the examples of austeritizing welfare and austere consumption, it brings to the fore the inseparability of familial and financial relations, everyday life, and economic change. The conclusion calls for further research into the social geographies of austerity, to extend beyond families and households to include friendships, intimacies, and acquaintanceships.


Family Austerity Intimate relations Financial crisis Ethnography Consumption Welfare