Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Sofa surfers and shed dwellers: new living arrangements and household surveys in the UK and France

Coast, Ernestina, Randall, Sara, Fanghanel, Alex, Lelievre, Eva and Ba-Gning, Sadio (2012) Sofa surfers and shed dwellers: new living arrangements and household surveys in the UK and France. In: European Population Conference, 13th-16th June 2012, Stockholm, Sweden. (Unpublished)

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (674Kb) | Preview

Abstract

Data collection practicalities and the need for meaningful data analysis require a social unit to be defined. The ‘household’ is almost universally used as this unit of survey enumeration. Despite apparent harmonisation, European countries have different interpretations of the definition of private household and there is a clear lack of harmonisation both between surveys and countries. This study aims understand the implications of harmonizing definitions of the ‘household’ for survey data to represent the realities of new and emergent living arrangements in Europe. We explore which new forms of living arrangements and households are captured and / or represented in household surveys and censuses in the UK and France. We use 2 research: in-depth semi-structured interviews with informants involved in the design and production of household surveys and censuses; and, case study households (n=60) in the UK and France, producing qualitative data on living arrangements. We find considerable variation in the extent to which understanding of household meshes with data collected. We identify population sub-groups that are likely to be poorly captured and represented by household surveys, including: people who live temporarily, often as a result of a critical change (eg:divorce), with others (“sofa surfers”); children who are cared for by multiple households; those living in private rented tenancy accommodation or in unofficial accommodation (eg: garden sheds); dual earner couples who live apart during the working week; retired couples living separately each one in their dwelling house; young adults who still live at home with their parents; and, illegal migrants (without residence permit). We illustrate using detailed case studies drawn from our primary fieldwork. Our key informant interviews also point towards ways in which the increasing administration of household surveys using technology (eg: internet-based) might lead to further exclusion of some population sub-groups, or poor information being collected from them

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL: http://epc2012.princeton.edu/
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DC France
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D13 - Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Funders: Agence National de la Recherche, Economic and Social Research Council
Projects: http://www.householdsurvey.info/
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2012 13:43
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/44956/

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics