Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care

‘Creating Impact From Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care’ was a collaboration between Katie Smith and Dr Anna Tarrant

Dr Anna Tarrant is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Lincoln. Her research interests include men and masculinities; family life; and methodological developments in qualitative secondary analysis. Katie and Anna met in 2017 and soon realised that although they worked in different fields their aim was the same; to explore ways of working towards a more socially just and caring society in which all citizens are able to meet their full potential. Both challenge what is taken for granted and give a voice to those who are marginalised or vulnerable in society.

The prints below were created by Katie (with support from The Smallprint Co.) from data gathered during Anna’s research study ‘Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care’ (MPLC) funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The study examines men’s care responsibilities, support needs and patterns of care across the life course in low-income families in the UK. Anna interviewed twenty-six men in different generational positions living in a Northern city in England during the study. The men interviewed were young fathers (aged 25 and under); mid-life, predominantly single fathers with primary care responsibilities (aged 25 – 45); and kinship carers (uncles, grandfathers and a great-grandfather), who were providing support for family members in contexts of state intervention.

Through their collaboration, Katie and Anna wanted to explore the potential of using  creative techniques to present data from the MPLC study to maximise impact and to reach new audiences. Anna explains the rational used:

‘A key intention for producing the prints is that they give a voice to men in low income families who are usually marginalised and vilified by policy makers and the media (Neale and Davies, 2015) and constructed as largely absent, feckless and disinterested in family life. The quotes presented have been carefully selected to challenge these ‘commonsense’ ideas, by foregrounding men’s voices. This has been done to demonstrate the capabilities of each of these men to participate in family life, while also raising awareness of the specific challenges they face, in a way that does not contribute to this vilification.’