Riding the roller coaster

Family life and self-employment

By Susan Baines, Jane Wheelock and Ulrike Gelder


Dec 17, 2003

Page count

68 pages





297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
Riding the roller coaster

This report takes a critical look at the costs and benefits for individuals and families of turning to self-employment as a route out of economic disadvantage.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with self-employed people, their partners and children, the report argues that self-employment is much more likely to be a household rather than an individual undertaking. It makes the case for the need to consider work-life balance in relation to the self-employed.

Susan Baines is a Senior Research Associate in the Centre for Social and Business Informatics and Jane Wheelock is Professor of Socio-Economics in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, both at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Ulrike Gelder is a Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at the School of Education, University of Plymouth.

Introduction; Context and policy background; Entering self-employment; Making a livelihood; Caring for children in small-business households; Time, work and space in self-employed households; The experience of children; Conclusions and policy implications.

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