14 SES 13 B, Family Education, Parenting and School-Family-Community Links IV
Following a similar trend observed in other European countries since the end of 2008, Portugal experienced an economic set-back, which expanded into a recession. The harsh austerity policies, namely the externally imposed program of public finances consolidation the country has undergone, brought significant rises in unemployment and poverty – with considerable impact on Portuguese households. The risk of poverty rate is higher in families with children; and children become particularly vulnerable, since their living condition, marked by dependence on family members, have been deteriorating: in 2012, 24,4% of Portuguese children lived in households with per capita incomes below 408 euros / month (EU-SILC 2013).
This situation has contributed to family change and to the assessment of its former priorities. These changes are not without impact on family education and intergenerational relationships. Some questions may therefore arise, concerning parenting practices as well as on the relations of families with educational institutions. Considering the increasing difficulties shared by Portuguese households and the greater vulnerability of their living conditions, what are the impacts of these difficulties on the well-being of family members and of the family as a whole? Do they affect parenting practices? If so, in what extent? Furthermore, are parents’ educational plans for their children (e.g. long schooling trajectories, tertiary education) put at risk by the present crisis? What strategies do families employ to cope with the difficulties caused by the economic recession, in what concerns their children’s education?
Our presentation intends to address the above questions, by using some of the main findings of a recently completed research “Impacts of the crisis on Portuguese children” funded by UNICEF Portugal (Wall, K et.al, 2015). The relatively invisibility of children's everyday lives, which is impacted by different dimensions of the current economic crisis in Portugal, inspired the decision of giving voice to children. Therefore, it will be through the children’s perspective that we will assess the impact of the crisis on family education.
European Union Labour Force Survey (Eurostat). Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) Available in: epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/ Wall, K., Almeida, A.N., Vieira, M.M., Cunha, V. (orgs.) (2015, forthcoming) Impactos da crise nas crianças portuguesas: indicadores, políticas, representações. Lisboa: ICS. Imprensa de Ciências Sociais.
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