“Child Poverty : A Concern for All of Us and Why We Should Not Accept it” – Dr Gill Main, University of Leeds
The subject of child poverty has been high on the UK policy agenda since Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister, committed to ending it within a generation, in 1999. However, progress towards this goal, and the legally-binding targets established in the 2010 Child Poverty Act, has been mixed; and since the Coalition government of 2010 and the subsequent 2015 Conservative government, attention has shifted from poverty reduction to redefining child poverty, with a reduced focus on income and an increased focus on child outcomes and the behaviours of poor children and families.
With different politicians suggesting very different approaches to understanding, measuring and reducing child poverty, it is tempting to think that ‘poverty is in the eye of the beholder’ (Orshansky, 1969). But we know that poverty (however we define it) contributes to a host of negative outcomes, from poor educational attainment to shortened lifespan. During this talk I will discuss what has happened to child poverty in the UK since 1999, then cover some of the theoretical and conceptual debates which underpin UK policy and rhetoric in this field.
Gill is an Academic Fellow in Young People and Precarity, working with Professor Pia Christensen within the School of Education, and Professor Tracy Shildrick within the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.
Her research interests are within the field of child and youth poverty, social exclusion, and well-being. Her academic background is in social policy, and her doctoral research, conducted in partnership with The Children’s Society, focused on the creation of an index of child poverty based on children’s own perceptions of their needs. She has published several articles and book chapters on the topics of child poverty and social exclusion, and children’s subjective well-being.
Blackwell’s University Bookshop will be present with a book stall.
Start time for this Cafe will be 7.00pm
The aim of Cafe Economique is to provide education for interested members of the public about current economic topics and possible actions so that our economic system works and benefits all in an equitable, democratic and transparent way .