The 'nuclear hardship' hypothesis claims that where nuclear families predominated collective aid prevailed, whereas extended households were coextensive with kin-based support. This article tests this assumption by considering the relationship between households and the Poor Law in Lowland Scots communities after 1845. While cross-sectional census data are inconclusive, a longitudinal analysis based on case study evidence, including temporary as well as permanent relief patterns, suggests that 'nuclear hardship' might be replaced by a model that matches household structure with the varying sources of aid given during critical life situations while focusing upon applicants as negotiators rather than victims.
|Number of pages||27|
|Journal||Continuity and Change|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2002|