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Findings from a European project Resilience to the Recent Economic Crisis in Irish Households

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Abstract

RESCuE: Patterns of Resilience during Socioeconomic Crises among Households in Europe, was a cross-national European project undertaken from 2014-2017 and funded by the European Commission under Framework Seven1. The project was carried out by a consortium of researchers from nine European countries: Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The project was co-ordinated by Dr. Markus Promberger of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, Germany. The research centred on identifying the contexts and practices associated with household resilience to the financial crisis of 2008.
Findings from a European project
Jennifer Dagg and Jane Gray
June 2017
Resilience to the
Recent Economic
Crisis in Irish
Households
2Maynooth University
Resilience to the
Recent Economic
Crisis in Irish
Households
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 3
Contents
Introduction 4
Socioeconomic conditions: 6
Socioeconomic practices 8
Cultural Practices 10
Longitudinal and biographical aspects
of household resilience 14
Spatial aspects of household resilience 18
Communities, participation and politics 20
Welfare state institutions 22
Social Economy 25
Gender 27
Migration 30
Policy Implications 32
References 35
Appendix: RESCuE Work Package Leaders 37
4Maynooth University
Introduction
RESCuE: Patterns of Resilience during Socioeconomic Crises among
Households in Europe, was a cross-national European project
undertaken from 2014-2017 and funded by the European Commission
under Framework Seven1. The project was carried out by a consortium
of researchers from nine European countries: Finland, Germany, Greece,
Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The
project was co-ordinated by Dr. Markus Promberger of the Institute
for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, Germany. The research
centred on identifying the contexts and practices associated with
household resilience to the nancial crisis of 2008.
The concept of resilience has attracted much academic and political
interest of late and has recently been incorporated into the sociological
literature (Dagdeviren et al., 2016). Sociological approaches to resilience
focus on the social, cultural and political contexts within which
resilience occurs. Rather than ‘heroic’ understandings of resilience,
in which individuals are understood to perform extraordinary acts or
achievements, sociological approaches take the socioeconomic and
historical context into account and examine peoples’ everyday practices
as they seek to improve their circumstances (Dagdeviren et al., 2015;
Canvin et. al., 2009). The literature on resilience ‘views adversity as a
precondition, and then investigates what is involved in “beating the
odds” associated with such adversity’ (Canvin et. al., 2009:239).
Research in Ireland was conducted by Prof. Jane Gray and Dr. Jennifer
Dagg of Maynooth University with assistance from Dr. Kerry Gallagher
and Dr. Niall Gilmartin. Following a shared methodology, eld research
in an urban and rural environment was conducted in each of the nine
European countries. The Irish RESCuE team chose a midlands urban
setting and its rural hinterland (Dagg and Gray, 2016).
1 The research leading to these results has received funding from the
European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007- 2013) under
grant agreement number 613245. The ndings in this report reect only
the authors’ views. The European Union is not liable for any use that may
be made of the information contained herein.
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 5
Qualitative data in the form of key informant interviews, in-depth
interviews with household representatives, participant-generated
photographs, and photo elicitation interviews were collected during
2014 and 2015. In total, we carried out nineteen interviews with
expert informants, twenty-ve narrative interviews with household
representatives in urban and rural settings, and sixteen follow-up photo-
elicitation interviews with a subset of the household interviewees.
As part of the requirements of the project, the Irish RESCuE team
analysed the data and produced a series of national reports centred on
key themes and guidelines identied by the various research teams in
each country. These included: socioeconomic contexts; socioeconomic
practices of resilience; cultural practices in resilient households;
biographical and longitudinal aspects of household resilience; spatial
aspects of resilient households; communities, participation and politics;
welfare state institutions; social economy; and gender, migration and
ethnicity. The national reports for Ireland are available online at: https://
www.maynoothuniversity.ie/social-sciences-institute/working-papers.
Details of the international teams responsible for the dierent themes are
provided in Appendix I.
This report provides a summary of the ndings from each of the national
reports for Ireland. In addition, as part of the project methodology,
participants took photographs of aspects of their daily lives. The
photographs included in this report are reproduced with the participants’
consent. However copyright remains in the ownership of the participants
and the images may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form.
6Maynooth University
The high proportions of people and more
particularly children living in jobless
households are key distinguishing features of
the social consequences of the crisis in Ireland.
Outer regions of commuter belts are amongst
the areas most severely aected by the crisis.
Loss of people and jobs has created diculties
in many rural communities.
Many older people, especially those in rural
communities, experience deprivation in the
form of rural isolation and insucient transport
infrastructure (Nolan and Maître, 2008:34).
Signicant job losses, especially amongst men,
have led to increases in the proportions of low
intensity work households, which, in the Irish
case, are more likely to contain children.
Disproportionate eects on children and young
adults are likely to impact on inter-generational
processes which will aect families,
households and social well-being in Ireland into
the future.
Socioeconomic
context
The high proportions of people (22%), and more
particularly children (24%), living in jobless
households (Watson, Maître and Whelan 2012, pp.
18-24), are key distinguishing features of the social
consequences of the crisis in Ireland (NESC 2013,
p. 22). Taken together with the changing gender
composition of employment, and increasing
proportions of low-work intensity households,
this feature of the Irish social landscape has
considerable implications for understanding the
conditions for household resilience.
Rapid urbanisation, together with a property
boom during the ‘Celtic Tiger period, led to the
development of extensive commuter belts on the
outskirts of major towns and cities.
Outer regions of this commuter belt were amongst
the areas most severely aected by the crisis
(NESC, 2013). Other disadvantaged inner-city
areas and urban estates remained relatively
deprived with high levels of unemployment and
low levels of education. Loss of people and jobs
Key ndings
This report provided background information for the international
RESCuE project about the macro-social and economic factors
framing household experiences of adversity in Ireland
Summary
7 Resilience to the recent economic crisis
created diculties in many rural communities
(NESC, 2013). Although quantitative evidence
suggests that pensioners were comparatively
insulated from the crisis (but see O’Shea et al.
2012), many older people, especially those in rural
communities, experienced social exclusion linked
to poor social and transport infrastructure (Nolan
and Maître, 2008:34; Walsh and Ward 2012).
The National Economic and Social Council’s
report on the social consequences of the crisis
highlighted the extent to which ‘the impact of
nancial and other stress on individuals and
their families is mediated by their resilience’,
noting that: ‘Many commentators have argued
for a broader understanding and measurement
of economic and social progress in future. This
would involve measures of social well-being and
environmental sustainability as well as economic
growth” (NESC 2013, p. 116). An earlier report
emphasized that: ‘Resilience in individuals needs
to be paralleled at societal level by resilience
in institutions to enable them to adapt to the
changed and challenging circumstances’ (NESC
2009, p. 149). The RESCuE research programme
aimed to make a signicant intervention towards
understanding resilience in Irish families and
households, and towards developing a clearer
understanding of the social, cultural and
institutional environments that can promote or
hinder individual and family capabilities.
Since 2008 the political agenda in Ireland has
focused on the macroeconomic arena, specically
on scal policies. Recently, there has been
renewed interest in the social consequences of
the crisis as fears about the scal situation are
settling and stabilising (NESC 2013). Although
eorts were made in Ireland to protect and
maintain expenditure on social protection,
unemployment has nevertheless had a profound
eect on many households. Signicant job losses,
especially amongst men, have led to increases in
the proportions of low intensity work households,
which, in the Irish case, are more likely to contain
children. Similarly, Ireland faces a large and
worrying “NEET” rate. Disproportionate eects
on children and young adults are likely to impact
on inter-generational processes which will aect
families, households and social well-being in
Ireland into the future.
8Maynooth University
Constant economising and planning was
crucial to household survival. These practices
highlighted the importance for resilience
of certain capabilities - to compromise, to
negotiate, and to communicate eectively, both
with other household members and external
supportive institutions.
Participants and their families used public
resources within local environments, such as
lakes and woodlands, as free opportunities for
leisure.
Knowledge of what to do and who to approach,
and of rights and entitlements, was essential
to easing the duration and extent of hardship.
Those who had previous experience of
hardship fared much better than those who
were facing crisis, or a particular type of crisis,
for the rst time.
Families shared resources such as heating fuel,
nances, or childminding, and bartered skills
associated with manual trades to complete
home or car repairs.
Local ties with shopkeepers and service
providers were mobilized to tide people over
during at times of enhanced diculty.
Participants often mentioned sympathetic
service providers who were exemplary in their
assistance and provision of opportunities and
supports.
Resilience appeared to be most dicult
when internal household diculties, such as
those associated with ill health or partnership
breakdown, converged with adverse external
socioeconomic conditions.
Socioeconomic
practices
The Irish participants in RESCuE suered
material deprivation and other forms of hardship
to varying degrees as a result of the nancial
crisis in 2008. Their interviews revealed a bleak
assessment of contemporary social conditions
and an overwhelming sense of trepidation for their
future potential and prosperity. In their interviews,
participants gave voice to important reections
on their current state of being: a sense of being
unfairly burdened with austerity measures, of
facing cuts that have had the greatest impact at
the lowest level; of a steady progression towards
increasing poverty and hardship; a sense of
insecurity for their future in regards to health,
employment and providing for their children; the
rising cost of daily essentials; and a perception
of the mass exodus of young people from rural
communities. Although participants attributed
Key ndings
This report centred on the everyday practices through which
members of households aected by the crisis coped with adversity.
Summary
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 9
blame to the ‘ordinary person,’ they also clearly
felt that ordinary people were paying the price
by living with reduced means. They placed the
‘real’ blame on government ocials, bankers and
developers, who remained responsible for a lack
of action, negotiation, and general failure to meet
the needs of the people in the post-crisis setting.
These sentiments were emphasised most by self-
employed people whose small businesses were
failing.
A number of key themes in relation to household
socioeconomic practices emerged through
our analysis of participants’ accounts of their
experiences of hardship.
• Economising and reducing consumption
• Knowledge and external resources
• Importance of state institutions and third sector
organisations importance of family, extended
family support and social networks
Economising and reducing consumption habits
was practised by almost all the households we
interviewed. Those experiencing the greatest
poverty were vigorously juggling their resources
to ensure that the needs of household members
were provided for. This included stringent
budgeting relating to day-to-day, weekly, or
monthly expenditure, with the additional capability
of manoeuvring the budget should circumstances
change. For example, an increase in needed
medication one week could mean that costs had
to be cut in other areas. Use of public resources
within participants’ environments, such as lakes
and woodlands, provided free entertainment for
families. The need to consistently economise
and plan over time highlighted the capabilities
necessary for such practices – to compromise,
to negotiate, and to communicate eectively,
whether this was to members within the
household, or external supportive institutions.
Knowledge was a valued resource that circulated
from generation to generation, between families,
and within communities. Knowledge of what
to do and who to approach, and of your rights
and entitlements, was essential to easing the
duration and extent of hardship on households
during times of crisis. Personal connections with
shopkeepers and service providers were mobilized
to tide people over during periods of enhanced
diculty. Those who had previous experience of
hardship fared much better than those who were
facing crisis, or a particular type of crisis, for the
rst time. Knowledge from family members or from
social or community networks guided participants
to individuals, networks, resources, or institutions
that could provide assistance.
State institutions and third sector organisations
played a key supportive role in the lived
experiences of those facing hardship. Participants
often mentioned sympathetic service providers
that were exemplary in their assistance and
provision of supports and opportunities both
within and beyond the household. Charities
providing vouchers and nancial assistance at
crucial times of the year served as a lifeline for
certain families. Community resource centres and
development centres imparted local knowledge
in the form of job opportunities and information,
as well as acting as social spaces for participants
to gain or rebuild a sense of self-condence and
self-worth.
Family and extended family networks contributed
not just emotional support and care in times
of heightened stress, but also gifted essential
resources and skills. Families shared resources
such as heating fuel, nances, or childminding,
and skills such as manual trades to complete
home or car repairs. Such activities, participants
felt, contributed to a sense of generosity towards
others regardless of circumstances, and to
community spirit.
Resilience appeared to be most dicult when
internal household diculties, such as illness or
family disruption, converged with adverse external
socioeconomic conditions. In these instances,
household participants often used negative
language to describe the practices necessary to
address their circumstances. However, over time,
it could be that these practices were the rst
necessary steps towards ‘beating the odds’.
10 Maynooth University
“We do a lot of things with the kids like bring
them to the playground or the forest when it’s
nice out, we do things that wouldn’t cost as
much...”
(INT.HU.004, wife, 2 children)
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 11
Cultural
Practices
Access to networks of support within
communities, such as extended family,
neighbours, and targeted cultural and social
facilities within disadvantaged neighbourhoods,
allowed for both informal exchanges of goods
and services and a visible social infrastructure
with which residents could choose to engage.
Targeting services and activities towards
particular disadvantaged or marginalised
groups plays an essential role in initially
engaging people, but may also have the
unintended eect of limiting the spatial and
social extent of cultural engagement.
Within designated areas of disadvantage, social
cohesion continues to involve dierentiation
among Irish nationals, non-Irish nationals and
Travellers, despite targeted social programmes
and resources.
Where extended family relationships are
available locally, family members can ‘step-
in’ to help with problems such as relationship
breakdown or substance abuse. However,
drawing on extended family resources
sometimes generates problematic obligations
to reciprocate.
New media featured in the narratives of
participants of all age groups: older people
spoke of using the internet to maintain contact
with children who had emigrated; young people
described media such as YouTube as their
evening entertainment; while social media
platforms like Facebook provided information,
gossip and stories about the community.
Positive future imaginings and sentiments
amongst some participants contrasted with
a sense of generational loss amongst others,
who were negatively disposed towards the
future. Those who appeared to be coping better
addressed their change of social position
by refocusing their values, identities and life
trajectories in order to avoid loss of pride and
to create an enhanced sense of security.
Participants expressed turbulent social
emotions towards the crisis, depending on the
position they were in at the time of interview.
Those who were coping and had the ability
to reect on the crisis were direct in their
articulation of feelings of indignity, loss of
independence and security, abandonment, low
self-esteem and blame. Those who were still in
a process of transition were feeling adrift, lost
and hopeless.
Key ndings
Following the theoretical framework developed by sociologist
Pierre Bourdieu, this report centred on how participants
mobilized dierent ‘capitals,’ such as social connections, and
cultural and symbolic resources to promote resilience.
12 Maynooth University
RESCuE explored the cultural practices and
aspects of change in dierent forms of capital
that surfaced among Irish participant households
when faced with adverse circumstances. The
majority of households experienced the crisis as
a reduction in salary (amongst those who were
working), and an increase in nancial pressure
over time as further salary reductions and welfare
cuts were encountered. Crisis, however, was not
just understood in nancial terms. Health issues,
bereavement, relationship breakdown, and crisis
pregnancy or miscarriage, all added to a sense of
instability in household dynamics.
Participant narratives of everyday life emphasised
the central importance of providing for family,
especially children. Most respondents spoke of
nancial pressure, the struggle to make ends
meet, and the need to budget and plan ahead.
The ability to adapt the weekly budget was crucial,
through bargain hunting, low cost supermarket
shopping, negotiating bills or switching providers,
and gaining small bouts of employment to
keep on top of mounting bills. Access to social
and community networks such as family and
neighbours allowed for the informal exchange of
goods, while targeted cultural resources ensured
that disadvantaged localities maintained a visible
social infrastructure with which residents could
choose to engage.
Cultural participation, aside from pop culture,
occurred within limited environments and
through targeted services. For instance, our
younger participants were engaged in playing
musical instruments at a youth club, while older
participants talked about taking part in activities
within active retirement clubs. Targeting services
and activities towards particular disadvantaged
or marginalised groups plays an essential role
in initially engaging respondents with such
activities, but may also have the unintended eect
of imposing spatial and social constraints on
their sphere of cultural engagement. New media
featured in the narratives of participants of all age
groups: older people spoke of using the internet to
maintain contact with children who had emigrated;
young people spoke of media sites like YouTube
as their evening entertainment; while social media
sites like Facebook provided stories for the
community gossip circuit.
Our exploration of the relationships amongst
our participants indicates that social capital
can be accumulated at various levels. Social
cohesion within designated neighbourhoods of
disadvantage continues to involve dierentiation
among Irish nationals, non-Irish nationals and
Travellers despite targeted social programmes
and resources. Familial relationships function to
assist with problems experienced within private
households, such as relationship breakdown
or substance abuse, where family members
can ‘step-in.’ However, we found that familial
resources often necessitated problematic
reciprocation, and were limited by distance.
Respondents were active in engaging with social
supports within their communities. Although
some felt isolated, the majority spoke of strong
neighbourly relations, looking out for one another
and their children, and lending an important
helping hand when the need arose.
Traditional gender roles were evident, although
increased unemployment amongst men resulted
in greater numbers taking on childcare roles within
the home. Nevertheless, women still spoke of
sacricing their jobs to look after their children as
the cost of childcare is so expensive. Importantly,
although some female respondents spoke of men
being in charge of the nances, in cases where
businesses had collapsed it was the women
who negotiated repayment terms with nancial
institutions and approached nancial services
for help.
Symbolic capital played an important role in
rearticulating the visions, values, and identities of
households that were coping and on a trajectory
of change. Positive imaginings and sentiments
Summary
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 13
for the future contrasted with a sense of loss
articulated by participants who were negatively
disposed towards the future. Amongst those who
were coping, their change of social position and
identity necessitated a re-focus of their values
and life trajectories in order to avoid loss of pride
and to develop a sense of security. How they
interacted and negotiated their changed position
with state services in order to secure resources
was decisive in protecting them from the erosion
and decay of their subjectivity.
Participants expressed turbulent social emotions
in relation to the crisis, depending on the position
they were in at the time of interview. Those who
were coping and had the ability to reect on the
crisis were direct in their articulation of feelings
of indignity, loss of independence and security,
abandonment, low self-esteem and blame. Those
who were still in a process of transition were
feeling adrift, lost and hopeless.
14 Maynooth University
“I don’t know how we’ll get ourselves out of it,
we’ll keep going and we’ll keep trying and we’ll
keep getting the kids through school.
But once you have each other and you’re able
to work out problems, and if you haven’t got
that you have nothing. We still do try to have
the laugh”
(INT.HR.003, husband and wife, 4 children).
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 15
Longitudinal and
biographical aspects
of household resilience
Consistent with recent quantitative evidence
we found that participants in their thirties
and forties felt the negative consequences
of the recession most keenly. This was partly
because they were more likely to have children
and other dependents, but also because
they had entered adulthood and started their
families during a period of social and economic
optimism, with greatly enhanced opportunities
for social mobility that were subsequently
dashed.
When people encounter a ‘perfect storm’
bringing together poor timing (such as taking
on a mortgage at the peak of the property
bubble) with unexpected adverse events (most
notably unemployment and ill-health), the
challenges of overcoming them can sometimes
prove too great.
For many participants, close kinship ties
proved problematic sources of help at critical
moments in their lives, partly because they
were fearful of imposing hardship on their near
relatives, but also because they rejected what
they believed to be inappropriate ows of help
across the generations – for example when
older parents had to call on their adult children
for support.
Instead, unexpected forms of help from
more distant relatives or oce-holders (such
as doctors, teachers, public ocials or
charity workers) appeared as more decisive
interventions in participant narratives about
moments of crisis in their lives.
We found considerable dierences across age
groups with respect to understandings of their
life trajectories and their visions of the future.
– The oldest group, aged in their fties and
sixties, expressed
disappointed resignation
that having weathered the recession of
the 1980s when they were raising their
own families, their material circumstances
were less than they had hoped for as they
approached retirement.
– The youngest group, aged in their late teens
and twenties, were
modestly hopeful
for
their own futures.
– By contrast, the middle cohort of
participants, aged in their thirties and forties
expressed
frustrated anxiety.
This group
was most fearful about the future, most
doubtful about their own ability to transcend
their circumstances and angriest about the
impact of the recession on their lives.
Key ndings
This report centred on dierences in hardship and
resilience between age groups. It also examined how the timing of
events in peoples’ lives impacted on their experience of the crisis.
16 Maynooth University
A biographical and longitudinal perspective
enhances our understanding of citizens’ varying
capacities for resilience, through an analysis
of how life course characteristics – including
birth cohort and family life stage – intersect with
structural disadvantage, past experiences of
adversity and the timing of life transitions and
events leading to dierent pathways through life.
By adopting a qualitative approach, the RESCuE
study provides additional insights on how people
adapt to adverse transitions and engage in life
planning. In particular, it yields rich data on the
complex processes surrounding turning points in
the life course, providing essential information for
understanding how such ‘critical moments’ give
rise to positive or negative trajectories.
The Irish RESCuE team examined varying
biographical and longitudinal aspects of
resilience in Ireland across three broad cohorts
of participants: those born during a period
of economic stagnation in the late 1940s and
1950s; those born during a period of comparative
economic growth during the 1960s and seventies;
‘millennials’ born during the 1980s and nineties,
a period characterized by rapid change in social
and cultural values but also by widely uctuating
economic fortunes (from bust to boom and back
again). Our analysis showed that participants in
each of these cohorts experienced the recent
recession dierently, partly because of the
changing historical contexts in which they grew
up, but also because of the varying family life
stages at which they encountered the crisis.
Consistent with recent quantitative evidence
(Whelan et al., 2016) we found that those in the
middle cohort (aged in their thirties and forties)
felt the negative consequences of the recession
most keenly, partly because they were more
likely to have children and other dependents, but
also because they had entered adulthood and
early family formation during a period of social
and economic optimism, with greatly enhanced
opportunities for social mobility that were
subsequently dashed.
Our analysis of the life timing of transitions and
events in participants’ lives revealed a pattern of
‘untimely’ and ‘ill-timed’ transitions, consistent
with the comparatively disadvantaged social
origins of all participants across each of the three
cohorts. However, the analysis also showed that
poor timing in and of itself does not determine
poor outcomes across the life course. ‘Untimely’
transitions - such as births outside marriage - or
‘ill-timed’ life choices - such as when to start
a business or borrow money to purchase a
home - can be negotiated and overcome within
individual lives. However, when people encounter
a ‘perfect storm’ bringing together poor timing
and unexpected adverse events, most notably
ill-health, the challenges of overcoming them can
sometimes prove too great.
The potential for resilience at such critical
moments may be greatly enhanced by the
extent to which people are able to draw on their
networks of ‘linked lives’ for support. We found
that, contrary to our expectations, close kinship
ties proved problematic sources of help for many
participants, partly because they were fearful of
imposing hardship on their near relatives but also
because they rejected what they believed to be
inappropriate ows of help across the generations.
Instead, unexpected forms of help from more
distant relatives or oce-holders (such as doctors,
teachers, public ocials or charity workers)
appeared as more decisive interventions in
participant narratives. Such interventions appear
to have acted as turning points insofar as they
empowered people to recongure their identities
as recipients of help.
Summary
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 17
Finally, we found considerable dierences across
the three cohorts with respect to understandings
of their life trajectories and their visions of the
future. The oldest group, aged in their fties and
sixties, expressed
disappointed resignation
that,
having weathered the recession of the 1980s when
they were raising their own families, their material
circumstances were less than they had hoped for
as they approached retirement.
The youngest group, aged in their late teens
and twenties, were
modestly hopeful
for their
own futures. By contrast, the middle cohort of
participants, aged in their thirties and forties
expressed
frustrated anxiety
. This group was most
fearful about the future, most doubtful about their
own ability to transcend their circumstances and
angriest about the impact of the recession on their
lives.
“[My parents] worked all their lives you know,
so they shouldn’t really be put in a position to
help their children out. They shouldn’t really.
But that’s what the recession has done”
(INT.HU.003, female, 2 children)
18 Maynooth University
In this report we examined how experiences of hardship and
practices of resilience varied according to dierent scales,
ranging from the individual body (focusing on health and
well-being), to the home, neighbourhood and supra-local
context.
Spatial aspects
of household
resilience
Access to networks of support within
communities, such as extended family,
neighbours, and targeted cultural and social
facilities within disadvantaged neighbourhoods,
allowed for both informal exchanges of goods
and services and a visible social infrastructure
with which residents could choose to engage.
Participants provided detailed narratives of
the negative impact of the recession on their
health and mental well-being. A small number
of participants described feelings of depression
or recounted past experiences of suicidal
thoughts. Participants also described how
reductions in their standard of living aected
the quality of food that they and their families
consumed.
High mortgage costs, experiences of negative
equity and diculties associated with
paying utilities and maintaining their homes
created stress for participants with negative
consequences for their well-being. However,
homes also created opportunities for resilience
by providing alternative resources for making a
living, subsistence and bartering
Private transport (i.e. owning a car) is crucial
to availing of employment opportunities and
accessing services such as health care in
the area that we studied. The current lack,
or infrequent nature, of the public transport
system means that people either have to
rely on others for travel, or purchase a car.
Participants described how they prioritised
maintaining a car as an aspect of coping and
resilience.
There is evidence of some forms of social
polarisation within neighbourhoods, both
in rural and urban areas. Respondents
spoke about certain areas as ‘no-go places’
or pointed to certain social groups within
areas contributing to the breakdown of local
communities.
Globalization and economic growth during
the ‘Celtic Tiger’ period led to increased
experiences of in-migration to the study area.
Amongst some respondents, this led to a sense
of detachment from their local neighbourhoods,
linked to a perception that there had been
an inux of ‘outsiders’ or non-Irish nationals.
feeling adrift, lost and hopeless.
Key ndings
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 19 19 Maynooth University
Spatial constraints have a great inuence on
individuals’ movement and engagement in wider
society, with consequences for their resilience.
This report examined spatial constraints and
opportunities at dierent scales, ranging from the
individual body (focusing on health and well-being),
to the home, neighbourhood and supra-local
context.
Participants in the study provided detailed
accounts how their experiences of crisis and
recession negatively aected their mental and
physical health. They described how the stress
associated with insecurity of employment and
housing, and loss of income, led to physical illness,
depression and suicidal thoughts, especially
amongst men. Some participants described
instances of suicide amongst friends and close
acquaintances. There were also accounts of how
reductions in income had led to deterioration in the
quality and quantity of food available to families.
Many participants experienced challenges
associated with housing, including loss of their
homes due to mortgage arrears, inability to
maintain houses to an adequate standard and
diculties paying for electricity and heating.
However, respondents also described how homes
could be a resource for resilience strategies,
providing a means to earn additional income
(for example, through informal childminding),
exchanging resources such as access to turf,
an opportunity for subsistence production of
vegetables and chickens, or simply a place of quiet
and comfort for the alleviation of stress.
Respondents in both rural and urban areas spoke of
transport as a key dimension constraining or enabling
their social and economic activities. For example,
one urban participant described how he cycles one
and a half hours to his FÁS course daily; otherwise
he has to rely on extended family for transport.
Others emphasized how they or their children were
constrained in their choice of third level education
because of poor public transport infrastructure. This
means that people must either purchase and maintain
a car, or rely on others for travel.
This is not exclusively a ‘rural problem;’ residents in
the urban study area also require their own mode
of transport to go about their daily lives – to leave
children to school or crèche, and to travel to and from
work. The geographical and spatial layout of towns
and villages constrains people’s mobility and limits
their opportunity to socialise. The costs associated
with owning a car represented a signicant challenge
to participants facing nancial constraints as a result
of the crisis. Respondents from both rural and urban
areas stated that purchasing a car, or keeping one
on the road, was an essential rst step towards
resilience. Some described how it will take some time
to save for this; others projected that they will borrow
to do so.
On the scale of neighbourhoods and communities,
there was also a sense of increasing social
polarisation between the rich and the poor which
had begun before the nancial crisis but has since
become more evident. Residents distinguish
between ‘rough’ and safe areas, which leads to
the spatial division of communities. Respondents
spoke about social change in their neighbourhoods.
Urban and rural inhabitants mentioned an increase
of crime and violent behaviour and how this is
fast becoming a feature of some locales. Some
respondents expressed a sense of disconnection
from place and a desire to leave. This feeling of
detachment was associated in their narratives
with the inux of ‘outsiders,’ including those from
other parts of Ireland and immigrants from other
countries.
Summary
20 Maynooth University
“…to me it’s just bricks. It’s not even a house because
I can’t do anything in it. I don’t have the money to do
anything in it. You couldn’t bring anyone into it”
(INT.HU.007, husband and wife, 4 children).
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 21
Community,
participation
and politics
Older respondents revealed greater levels of
community engagement through involvement in
numerous community groups. However, some
younger respondents were also active in their
communities, through initiatives such as Youth
Café.
There is evidence of a gender division in terms
of the
types
of groups and organisations
that people engage with. For example, many
of our female respondents were involved
in organisations which largely adhere to
stereotypical gender roles such as Irish
Countrywomen’s Association, child and toddler
groups, and bingo nights amongst others.
There is a clear imbalance in the level of
community activity between rural and urban
areas in our study. Levels of community
involvement appear to be much greater among
rural respondents than urban. However, some
of these dierences may be due to sampling.
The majority of rural respondents are involved
in organisations and groups that could be
categorised as providing ‘sociable’ or leisure
services. Urban respondents in our study were
more likely to be involved in groups that are
at the coalface of tackling issues related to
hardships brought on by the crisis, such as
service providers and political movements.
Forms of community activism and political
participation vary greatly, from localised leisure
groups to transnational social movements.
Unsurprisingly, our RESCuE participants reect
this diversity: forms of participation varied from
leading Scout groups to providing essential
services and supports. Our respondents had
drawn upon a wide range of community groups
and areas of political participation to negotiate
the crisis. Older respondents revealed greater
levels of participation through their involvement
in numerous community groups. While men and
women appear to be equally active within diverse
community organisations, there is evidence of
a gender division in the types of organisations
involved. For instance, many of our female
respondents were active in organisations that
adhere to traditional gender roles, such as the
Key ndings
Summary
This report centred on citizen engagement and political activism in
the context of the crisis. It revealed dierences in the extent and
nature of civic participation by age, gender and place.
22 Maynooth University
Irish Countrywomen’s Association, child and
toddler groups, and bingo nights, among others.
Furthermore, there is a clear imbalance between
the urban and rural study areas in the level of
community activity. Many urban respondent
narratives are dominated by stories of daily
struggles and survival, indicating perhaps little
time or resources for community activities.
There were also dierences in the kinds of
community activities that predominated in urban
and rural areas. The majority of rural respondents
are involved in organisations which could be
described as providing ‘sociable’ or leisure
services, while those urban respondents who are
active, are more likely to be involved in groups at
the coalface of tackling issues related to hardships
brought on by the crisis – such as voluntary
service providers or political organisations. Rural
and urban respondents displayed equal measures
of resilience in accessing goods and social
services through social networks, drawing on the
skills and assistance of others.
Absence of widespread political unrest or
opposition has been identied as a distinctive
feature of citizens’ responses to the crisis in
Ireland. In contrast to civil society and community
groups, the overwhelming majority of respondents
did not see political activism as an eective
strategy for resilience, although some mentioned
the growing opposition to water charges as a sign
of political change. Just ve men and two women
identied themselves as members of a political
party or formal political organisation. In general,
participants expressed feelings of disillusionment
about politicians and other powerful groups
whose activities were ‘blamed’ for the crisis, such
as bankers, accountants, solicitors and other
professionals. Most active engagement occurred
within civil society organisations. For example,
young adults described how they had set up a
local Youth Café. Others described participating in
groups and activities oriented towards improving
the quality of life in their communities.
We go around and try to collect money from
the houses to fund the grass cutting… we get
volunteers out, we get the kids involved with
picking up rubbish”
(INT.HU.005, female, 1 child).
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 23
Adequate transfer of information was crucial to
the successful interaction of households with
welfare state institutions, particularly in regard
to income support and primary payments, as
many households found themselves scrambling
to understand their entitlements, or attempting
to mediate amongst diverse agencies in the
case of illness or disability.
Women, whether caring for ill children or
providing full-time care to young children,
found themselves at a disadvantage - the
conditions under which they could take up
work while still receiving some income support
were strict, even though a childcare and after
school childcare scheme is in place to assist
women or one parent families to increase their
labour market activity.
Although activation courses did not suit
everyone, in some cases interviewees
conveyed how these programmes provided
a daily structure, social interaction and time
to adjust and overcome job loss, and aid
transition into a new role.
The compassion and empathy that is often
transferred through local initiatives and informal
interaction with others sustains motivation and
instils self-condence.
Initiatives focused on young people proved
important avenues of support when problems
such as stressful circumstances, relationship
breakdown, or substance abuse were occurring
at home.
Key ndings
In this report, we examined the role of the welfare state
in promoting resilience.
Welfare state
institutions
The availability and accessibility of welfare state
institutions, both nationally and locally, aected
the capacity for resilience amongst households
that participated in the Irish RESCuE case study.
The economic crisis and subsequent austerity
conditions had signicant impacts on vulnerable
households such as one parent families, those
with disabilities or illness, and jobless or very low
work intensity households. These households
experienced reductions in income support,
together with increased conditionality – most
notably for young people under 25 years and
through the activation measures implemented for
lone parents.
Adequate transfer of information was crucial to
the successful interaction of households with
welfare state institutions, particularly in regard
to income support and primary payments.
Many household participants found themselves
scrambling to understand their entitlements, or
attempting to mediate between diverse agencies
in the case of illness or disability. Women,
whether caring for ill children or providing full-
Summary
24 Maynooth University
time care to young children, found themselves
at a disadvantage. The conditions under which
they could take up work while still receiving
some income support were strict, even though a
childcare and after-school childcare scheme is in
place in the urban setting to assist women or lone
parents to increase their labour market activity.
The high cost of childcare in Ireland makes it
dicult to accept jobs that pay just above the
qualifying income threshold. Moreover, the
work-rst activation model that Ireland operates
accepts low-pay as a starting point, providing
in-work payment benets to top up low wages
for those who return to work (Murphy, 2016 p.
12). Our study revealed how some households
experience extreme deprivation and fall outside
the conditions of support, surviving with the help
of the charitable sector and engaging in activities
that are predominantly free or for public use. It
was evident across our interviews that reliance on
the charitable sector increased as primary welfare
cuts were introduced. This was particularly evident
at festive times of the year, such as Christmas,
when receiving a hamper or voucher from a charity
made an immense dierence.
The community and voluntary sector experienced
a very signicant reduction in funding as a result
of crisis-driven austerity. As a result, many
agencies operate a skeletal service, or have been
subsumed into larger organisations. Many local
initiatives have either been eradicated, or nd
themselves in competition with each other for the
same pot of funding. Nevertheless, community
resource centres and activation schemes, such as
the Community Employment Programme and TÚS,
proved essential for maintaining cohesion within
disadvantaged areas by providing avenues of
employment for those who experienced job loss or
were long-term unemployed. Although activation
courses did not suit everyone, many of our
interviewees conveyed how these programmes
provided a daily structure, opportunities for social
interaction, time to adjust to job loss and aided
transition into a new role.
Local initiatives enrich the lives of people
experiencing socioeconomic adversity. The
compassion and empathy that is often transferred
through interaction with others at an informal level
sustains motivation and instils self-condence.
Initiatives focusing on young people proved
important avenues of support when stressful
circumstances, relationship breakdown, or
substance abuse was occurring in the home.
A Youth Café worked to support young people
by providing them with a safe and fun space
to congregate, while the Youthreach scheme
oered a second chance for education outside
the formal system. Similarly, a local retirement
club addressed issues of isolation and deprivation
amongst older people, while sporting initiatives
drew community members of all ages together.
“We got loads of funding for a Youth Cafe,
and we made the Youth Cafe happen... I
did volunteer there for a long time. And I’m
still in and out like, really good friends with
everyone in there”
(INT.HU.012, male).
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 25
Social
Economy
The recession triggered renewed interest in the
importance of fostering the potential of the social
economy in Ireland, as shown by its inclusion in
the Programme for Government, 2011.
In our study, the most marginalised households
were those that engaged with social
enterprises. These included Traveller and
socially disadvantaged households in areas
where resource centres are located. They also
included households experiencing poverty or
a change of circumstances leading them to
seek out activities that were free or provided
for a reduced fee. Older people facing isolation
and loneliness engaged with social enterprises
oriented towards active retirement.
It was clear from interviews with key informants
that rural Ireland, is lagging signicantly
behind urban areas with respect to social
economy. Fundamental infrastructural issues
such as transport, rural broadband, and scal
investment have diminished the potential for
social enterprises in rural communities.
Although government programmes have actively
included the social economy sector since the
1990’s, one could argue that its importance has
not been fully recognized due to its overlap with
enterprise and the community and voluntary
sector. However, the recession seems to have
triggered renewed interest in the importance
of fostering the potential of social economy, as
shown by its inclusion in the Programme for
Government 2011, the assignment of Government
Ministers to the sector, and the publication of the
Forfás Report (2013). The latter report outlined
the governance structure of the social economy in
Ireland, while also noting the diculty in assessing
whether an enterprise belongs to the sector. Desk
research revealed that workshops have taken
Key ndings
Social economy refers to the activities of organisations that ‘make
prots for people other than investors or owners,’ such as co-
operatives, cooperatives, mutual societies, non-prot associations,
foundations and social enterprises. 2
Summary
2 European Commission, ‘Social Economy in the EU.’ Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/
sectors/social-economy_en. Accessed 7th June 2017.
26 Maynooth University
“Because part of these schemes is the
whole progression thing, and we have
been quite successful in the progression
of people, and we have had some good
people and trained them up”
(EXP6, MUrb).
place in both urban and rural locations to inform
interested parties of what social enterprises
are, how they can be funded and sustained
as viable enterprises. Local Enterprise Oces
provide support and funding for enterprises that
wish to scale up (expand and export). However
it is unclear whether these enterprises benet
communities as a whole, or just pockets of
communities that experience disadvantage.
In addition, identifying social enterprise
organisations is dicult, because organisations
do not always disclose themselves as such. The
Irish Social Enterprise Network (www.socent.ie) is
in the process of developing a directory that will
list all enterprises that operate as part of the social
economy. This will make it easier to identify social
enterprises and to assess their contribution to the
communities they serve.
Households in our study that engaged with social
enterprises included those that were marginalised
(e.g. Travellers); socially disadvantaged
(generally in areas where resource centres are
located); those experiencing poverty or change
of circumstances and so engaging in activities
that were free or provided for a reduced fee; or
facing isolation and loneliness in old age. The
social enterprises examined in both research
sites operated under strict (and reduced) funding
instruments that simultaneously demanded
a reconguration of how groups organise
(especially in rural communities) and threatened
the viability of enterprises. This was illustrated
by the director of one local organization who was
obliged to reframe the enterprise as a ‘business’
in order to draw down funds, dening its values
in quantiable terms while omitting what she
felt were important dimensions of the service it
provided.
Lastly, it was clear from interviews with key
informants that the rural research site, and indeed
rural Ireland, is signicantly lagging behind its
urban counterparts. Fundamental issues such as
transport, rural broadband, and scal investment
have diminished the potential vibrancy for social
enterprises in rural communities.
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 27
Gender
Increased unemployment amongst men
resulted in greater numbers taking on childcare
roles within the home. Nevertheless, women
still spoke of sacricing their jobs to look after
their children as the cost of childcare is so
expensive. Men aected by unemployment
increased their caring duties, using the time
out of the formal labour market to connect and
engage with their children.
Although some female respondents spoke
of men being in charge of the nances, in
cases where businesses had collapsed
it was commonly women who negotiated
repayment terms with nancial institutions and
approached nancial services for help.
In traditional male breadwinner households,
the capacity of the female partner to access
services and resources that could assist
household circumstances during times of crisis
was of paramount importance.
Young adults living in the family home
caused increased tension and hardship in the
household. While young adults did feel that
they assisted by contributing nancially to the
upkeep of the household, both they and their
parents felt that they should be making a start
in life.
Participants did not avail of formal childcare
and rarely discussed it in their narratives.
Instead reliance on family members was the
norm.
Although the status of women has been enhanced
in since the 1970’s – for example through
legislation for equal labour rights and recognition,
the lifting of the ‘marriage bar’, access to divorce,
increasing levels of female labour participation
from the 1990’s, and the introduction of gender
quotas for public oce - lingering issues remain
alongside new emerging challenges.
The lack of aordable childcare in Ireland means
that families with children (including lone parents)
continue to experience barriers to the formal
labour market. There is a greater incidence of
women working part-time compared to men,
depending on the age and number of dependent
children, while the employment rate of lone
parents (aged 15-64) was 52.8% in 2015. This
compares with 71.4% for adults in couples without
children and 73.8% for the adults in couple
headed households with children (CSO, 2015).
Key ndings
We examined how experiences of hardship
and resilience varied by gender.
Summary
28 Maynooth University
Barry and Conroy (2013) highlighted the phased
nature of the crisis and how this aected men
and women dierently. They found that men,
particularly young men, were more aected by
the crisis during the years 2008-2010, while the
second phase of the crisis during 2011-2012
also aected women. They suggest that these
dierences highlight changing impact of the crisis
from the male dominated construction sector
to the more female dominated service industry.
Other critics drew attention to the gendered
scapegoating of public sector workers, of which
over half are women (Monaghan et al., 2013).
Amongst the Irish participants in the RESCuE
study, a number of gendered patterns were
evident. In traditional male breadwinner
households, the female partner’s skills and
resourcefulness in accessing services, benets
and other resources was of paramount importance
for household survival and resilience.
Young adults, who were obliged to continue living
in the family home due to unemployment caused
increased tension and hardship in the household.
Young adults felt that they were assisting their
parents by contributing to the upkeep of the
household. However, both the parents and the
young adults felt that they should be making a
start in life.
Men aected by unemployment increased their
caring duties, using the time out of the formal
labour market to connect and engage with their
children.
Absent in the narratives was a discussion of
formal childcare by participants. Instead reliance
on extended family members seemed to be the
norm.
“This way these kids I see them growing
and I see every step and I love it, it’s
completely dierent”
(INT.HR.002, husband and wife, 4 children)
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 29
Migration
Those who immigrated to Ireland had previous
experience of migration.
Immigrants surrounded themselves with close
family members where possible, and were
adept at accessing information, services and
resources to assist them in adjusting to life in
Ireland.
Amongst Irish participants, the lifelong eect
of emigration was particularly pronounced in
households with members who had left Ireland
for a period during the 1980’s.
The eect of emigration in response to the
recent recession was acutely felt in rural areas.
Modern communication technology was
important for keeping families connected with
loved ones abroad.
Migration was enacted as a goal directed
strategy aimed at improving lifetime well-
being.
Patterns of Irish emigration have uctuated since
the Famine period, decreasing during the global
economic depression of the 1930’s, and again
following the implementation of strong domestic
economic policies in the 1970’s. The boom years
of the Celtic Tiger resulted in net immigration while
the subsequent economic crisis saw emigration
rates reaching new peaks, with 89,000 leaving
Ireland in 2013. Emigration pathways traditionally
lead to the US or the UK. However, more recently,
increasing numbers have moved to Australia and
Canada.
Increasing immigration has contributed to greater
ethnic diversity in Ireland. The number of people
identifying themselves as ‘non-Irish nationals’
more than doubled between 2002 and 2011.
Nevertheless, those identifying themselves as
‘white Irish’ still comprised 82% of the population
in 2016 (CSO 2017). As an indigenous minority
Travellers have had to contend until recently with
non- recognition of their ethnic identity by the
Irish state, as well as a history of assimilation
policies from the 1960’s. There is evidence that
immigration status and ethnicity intersects
with structures of inequality in Ireland, with
immigrants faring less well than Irish nationals
in the labour market (O’Connell and McGinnity
Key ndings
We explored how experiences of migration intersected with
adversity and resilience, both amongst immigrants to Ireland
and in the life stories of Irish people.
Summary
30 Maynooth University
“All I need is just to do my job to have a life, to
work and to live like any other normal, regular
citizen in this country”
(INT.HR.011, husband and wife, 1 child).
2008) and more likely to report experiences of
discrimination when looking for a job (McGinnity
et al. 2014).
The RESCuE study yielded a number of insights on
experiences of migration and ethnicity. Amongst
some Irish participants, there were narratives
of emigration and return across their lives. A
number of participants had left Ireland during
the 1980s recession before returning to take
advantage of new opportunities in the 1990s as
the economic boom took hold. Many were faced
with the emigration of adult children in the recent
recession. High levels of emigration were most
acutely felt in rural areas. Modern communication
technology was important for keeping families
connected with loved ones abroad.
Those participants who had immigrated to Ireland
also had previous experience of migration. They
surrounded themselves with close family members
where possible, and were adept at accessing
information, services and resources to assist their
circumstances. Thus both amongst Irish families
who had experienced emigration and immigrant
families, migration was enacted as a strategy
aimed at improving long term goals of enhancing
well-being.
Resilience to the recent economic crisis 31
Policy
Implications
People’s capacity for resilience and the forms of
resilience they mobilize vary according to:
The family life stage at which they encounter
adversity and the dispositions, skills and
resources they have inherited from earlier life
experiences.
Inter-generational processes, including
the inheritance of poverty and of class-
dierentiated resources and practices for
coping with adversity – including material
resources and family and kinship supports and
obligations
People experience severe threats to their capacity
for resilience when:
Their exposure to external ‘shocks,’ such as
becoming unemployed, coincides with multiple
other challenges linked to biographical and
social circumstances (including ill-health,
fragile family relationships and discrimination)
They experience rapid downward social
mobility threatening their identities and
requiring a reconguration of self within a
context of adversity.
Key ndings
The Irish case study suggested a number of policy implications
for supporting resilience amongst households facing adversity.
In drawing out policy implications, we focused on the evidence
from our analysis of the biographical and longitudinal aspects of
resilience (that is, the project work package for which the Irish
team had responsibility).
Policy Implications
Social investment policies, including those
centred on activation, should be combined with
continuing investment in social protection to
guard against the accumulation of problems
that threaten household resilience in the face of
unexpected shocks, such as a severe economic
crisis. Health care and labour market protections
appear to be especially important in this regard.
Activation policies should be exible enough to
facilitate coping with multiple challenges and to
allow space for people to negotiate turning points
at times of crisis.
32 Maynooth University
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34
Appendix:
RESCuE Work Package Leaders
WP1 Co-ordination and Management
Boost, Marie, Andreas Hirseland, Lars Meier,
Markus Promberger and Frank Sowa, Institut für
Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (Institute for
Employment Researcht (IAB)
WP2 State-of-the-art report on households’ resilience
under conditions of socioeconomic crisis in Europe
Calado, Alexandre D., Luís Capucha and Pedro
Estêvão, University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL)
WP3 Methodology and eldwork
Arnal Sarasa, María, Carlos de Castro, Francisco
José Tovar, María Paz Martín, Juan Carlos
Revilla Castro and Araceli Serrano, Universidad
Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
WP4 Typology of socioeconomic practices in resilient
households
Dagdeviren, Hulya, Matthew Donoghue and Ursula
Huws, University of Hertfordshire Business School
(UH)
WP5 Cultural practices in resilient households
Faliszek, Krystyna, Krzysztof Lecki, Witold Mandrysz,
Barbara Slania and Kazimiera Wódz, University of
Silesia (US)
WP6 Longitudinal and biographical development of
household resilience
Dagg, Jennifer and Jane Gray, Maynooth University -
National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM)
WP7 The spatial dimension of households’ resilience
Aytekin, E. Attila and H. Tarik Sengül, Middle East
Technical University (METU)
WP8 Communities, participation and politics
Arnal Sarasa, María, Carlos de Castro, Francisco
José Tovar, María Paz Martín, Juan Carlos
Revilla Castro and Araceli Serrano, Universidad
Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
WP9 Resilient households and welfare state
institutions
Athanasiou, Athena, Nelli Kambouri, Theodosia
Marinoudi, Georgia Petraki and Aggeliki Yfanti,
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
(UPSPS)
WP10 Social economy and household resilience
Faliszek, Krystyna, Krzysztof Lecki, Witold Mandrysz,
Barbara Slania and Kazimiera Wódz,
University of Silesia (US)
WP11 Gender, ethnic and migration aspects of
household resilience
Athanasiou, Athena, Nelli Kambouri, Theodosia
Marinoudi, Georgia Petraki and Aggeliki Yfanti,
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
(UPSPS)
WP13 Policy- and stakeholder-related dissemination
Tennberg, Monica, Joonas Vola and Terhi Vuojala-
Magga, University of Lapland (LAY)
35 35
Resilience to the
Recent Economic
Crisis in Irish
Households
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Technical Report
Full-text available
RESCuE is an FP7 funded project that examines the patterns of resilience during socioeconomic crises among households in nine European countries. The project is led and co-ordinated by Dr. Markus Promberger of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany. This paper is a technical report on the fieldwork carried out by the Irish RESCuE team. In particular, it provides a description of the local contexts of the research sites; observations from the field; a discussion of field access, contacting strategies and difficulties; sampling criteria and methods; and the process of conducting qualitative and photographic interviews. The paper was originally produced as the Irish national report for Work Package 3 (D3.16) within the RESCuE project.
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Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas). 2014. Energising Ireland's Rural Economy Available at: www. agresearch.teagasc.ie/rerc
CEDRA (Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas). 2014. Energising Ireland's Rural Economy. Available at: www. agresearch.teagasc.ie/rerc/CEDRA/CEDRA_ Report.pdf. Accessed 9 th August 2016.
The Social Dimensions of the Crisis: The Evidence and its Implications Dublin: National Economic and Social Council Available at: http://files.nesc.ie
2013. The Social Dimensions of the Crisis: The Evidence and its Implications. NESC Report No. 134. Dublin: National Economic and Social Council. Available at: http://files.nesc.ie/nesc_ reports/en/NESC_134_The_Social_Dimensions_ of_the_Crisis_Main_%20Report.pdf. Accessed 7 th June 2016.