The study will explore the impact of economic insecurity on the everyday care practices of men (including fathers and grandfathers) and the extent to which socio-cultural and historical factors influence the practical, moral and ethical decisions that they make in relation to providing care in contexts of constraint. This is vitally important research at a time of continuing austerity and deepening inequality and in a context where men’s experiences of care are often taken for granted or rendered invisible.
A methodologically ambitious programme of qualitative mixed-methods research will be conducted in two phases, to explore the subjective experiences of men’s care in these contexts. The first phase involves secondary analysis of existing Timescapes databases including ‘Following Young Fathers’ and ‘Intergenerational Exchange’. This analysis will shape the research questions and the design of the second phase, which will be conducted with men living in low-income localities in Leeds. Biographical interviews and the photo voice method will be employed with men living in a low income locality in Leeds to extend the time frame of the Timescapes research and to afford additional insights into the longitudinal complexities of men’s caring practices and responsibilities in low-income settings.
The findings will provide a unique evidence base that recognizes the significance of men’s care commitments within these contexts, the factors that underpin them, and their impact on individuals and localities. Theoretically, they will contribute to interdisciplinary academic debates concerning care, family practices, gendered vulnerability and identities, and will impact through the development of policies and services that value men’s caring activity in contexts of social and demographic change.