Austerity in a disadvantaged West Midlands neighbourhood: Everyday experiences of families and family support professionals

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This article examines everyday effects of austerity in Kingshurst – a disadvantaged urban neighbourhood in the West Midlands. It draws on qualitative data gathered from local families with children, and public and third sector professionals working in the area in family support services. While some of the issues raised are common to other disadvantaged communities across the UK, we recognise that austerity is experienced in specific socio-spatial contexts: in this case, Kingshurst’s circumstance of deprivation within a local authority borough that (as a whole) is above averagely affluent. This shaped the ways that residents and professionals framed the disadvantage they encountered in their everyday lives and work, in particular strengthening understandings of austerity as unfairly and unevenly experienced on the bases of geography and social class, and highlighting territorial stigma towards the neighbourhood by professionals and decision-makers which impeded residents’ engagement with the family support services available to them locally.



Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Social Policy
Early online date4 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2019

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© Sage 2019. The final publication is available via Sage at


  • austerity, disadvantage, families, neighbourhood, stigma


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