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The trouble with hard working families

Runswick-Cole, KA, Lawthom, R and Goodley, D (2016) The trouble with hard working families. Community Work & Family, 19. ISSN 1469-3615


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In this first in a new series of Voices pieces for the Journal, we set out to trouble the much-vaunted phrase ‘hard working families’. During the 2015 election campaign in the UK, we observed that politicians from across the political spectrum hardly ever used the word ‘families’ without prefacing it with two more words: ‘hard working’. While this may be a peculiarly global North turn of phrase, adopted by politicians in the UK, the USA and Australia, here we offer a critique of the term ‘hard working family’ that, we hope, speaks more generally to issues of community, work and family and to the global rise of neoliberal-ableism (Goodley, Lawthom, & Runswick-Cole, 2014).

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