Social reproduction strategies: understanding compound inequality in the intergenerational transfer of capital, assets and resources

Alex Nunn, Daniela Tepe-Belfrage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article focuses on the way that households respond to ‘global pressures’ by adapting their social reproduction strategies (SRS). We understand social reproduction strategies to encapsulate the more or less consciously developed day-to-day and inter-generational responses to the social conditions that households confront and their own motivations and aspirations for the future. Yet, due to a range of extant inequalities of accumulated and dynamic resources – some of which are material and some of which are at once ethereal and embodied in the concrete labouring capacities of individuals – we argue that social reproduction strategies, and capacities to pursue them, differ widely. Differences are conditioned by positionality, access to information and the construction of ‘economic imaginaries’ as well as material resources. By looking at these different expressions of social reproduction strategies, we highlight how they reinforce macro-scale socio-economic pressures, creating what we term ‘compound inequality’ into the future. Compound inequalities result from different behavioural responses to socio-economic conditions, inequality and (perceived or real) insecurity, which have the potential to exaggerate inequality and insecurity into the future. Inequalities do not just arise from formal economic markets then but also from the realm of social reproduction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCapital & Class
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

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