Parenting in an Insecure Age: Class, Gender and the Flexible Child

Allison J. Pugh

Abstract


Existing work on job insecurity focuses upon its effects upon workers at work, but a growing field attends to its broader impacts beyond the workplace. Based on in-depth interviews with 80 parents with varying experience of job precariousness, this article seeks to investigate how class and gender shape the impact of job insecurity on childrearing, specifically how parents seek to prepare their children for the future they anticipate. Results document that most parents encourage their children to be "flexible," but the youth’s class and gender shape the meanings and intended uses of this flexibility: advantaged parents want their teenagers to be able to take advantage of opportunities in work and love while the less-advantaged hope their children’s flexibility will be able to protect them from certain disaster in these realms.


Keywords


job insecurity; parenting; inequality; gender; youth

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1971-8853/9082

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