A Társadalomtudományi Kutatóközpont (MTA Kiváló Kutatóhely)
tisztelettel meghívja 96. Jour Fixe eseményére
Herke Boglárka: Framing the Deservingness of Families – Government Discourse Contributes to Growing Precarity of Single-Parent Families in Hungary
Előadó: Herke Boglárka (TK SZI)
Időpont: 2022. május 12. csütörtök 13:00
Helyszín: Az eseményt hibrid formában tartjuk meg.
Személyesen: Szociológiai Intézet 1097 Budapest Tóth Kálmán utca 4.; B.1.15 tárgyaló
Online: Zoom link:
Since the election of the second Orbán government in 2010, family benefits target better-off two-parent families, and government rhetoric focuses on the advertisement of traditional family values in Hungary. The government justified these changes by citing the need and public goal to stop the decline of the population. The liberalization of relationships is described as the cause of population decline, while the government states that only strengthening traditional family values and generous state support towards traditional families could lead to an increased birth rate. The chapter applies frame and critical discourse analyses and investigates to what extent and how the conservative discourse of the Hungarian government frames single-parent families as less deserving to state support compared to traditional families, and how this discourse contributes to growing precarity of single-parent families. The results show that within the alternatives of traditional families, single-parent families are regarded as the most deserving (compared to same-sex couples and heterosexual couples living in a civil union, with or without children). Nevertheless, single-parent families are still depicted as less healthy, second-class, and therefore less deserving families compared to traditional ones. The government’s message is that single parenthood is accepted, but it is better to prevent this situation, and single parents are deserving only of that kind of support that does not make single parenthood more appealing than living in a traditional family. These findings underline that the government’s discourse increases single-parent families’ precarity in both economic and social terms. While it aims to legitimate a lower level of state support for single parents by framing them as less deserving than traditional families, it also depicts them as social others by constantly describing them as families that are deviating from the “normal” traditional families.
Keywords: single parents, welfare deservingness, precarity, family policy, discourse analysis, Hungary
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