Wellcome Trust Featured PhD Programmes
University of Kent Featured PhD Programmes
Birkbeck, University of London Featured PhD Programmes
Sheffield Hallam University Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes

The unintended consequences of the evolving family unit

Project Description

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project based in the School of Management under the supervision of Dr Chris Dawson (https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/chris-dawson), Dr Virgilio Failla (https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/virgilio-failla) and Dr Joanna Syrda (https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/joanna-syrda).


The traditional family unit comprised of the father who specializes in labour market work and the mother who specializes in home production is in decline in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US) and many other developed economies across the globe. The reasons behind the decline of traditional labour division among married and cohabiting couples are multifaceted but reflect in large the increased participation of women in Higher Education, the increased share of women in employment, the narrowing gender pay gap and improvements to gender equality in the domain of economic decision-making. Women’s labour market progress—coupled with stagnant wages, the decade long economic slowdown, issues surrounding the affordability of housing/accommodation and frequently economic necessity—has meant that the family unit has had a steady increase in the share of employed married mothers, who when employed, are often the primary breadwinners. For instance, in the UK, approximately 59% of married mothers with children under age 15 are in paid-employment, with approximately 50% being in full-time work (>30 hours per week) and with 33% earning more than their full-time employed husbands. Families who don’t follow this trend, often stay behind economically. For instance, UK households that depend only on fathers’ earnings have the same average income as 15 years ago, often resulting in the low living standard among children. However, there is a growing stream of research suggesting that the decline of the traditional division of labour in the household, by challenging gender identity norms (i.e. "a man should earn more than his wife"), remains unsettling for many in society. The core aim of the proposed research is to examine the consequences of this decline in the traditional family on a number of previously unidentified economic and social outcomes. Importantly, these outcomes are not constrained to mothers and fathers but also include, where applicable, the outcomes of children and young adults who have grown up, or are growing up, in these less traditional households. These objectives serve to help us understand the consequences of the transition to a less specialized division of labour within the household, and looking forward, how the next generation is being affected by growing up in these non-traditional families. The proposed research will be based on the secondary analysis of at least three existing sources of data: The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS); Understanding Society (USoc); and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS).


Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant discipline.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form: https://samis.bath.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RDUMN-FP01&code2=0014

Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020.

Funding Notes

Candidates applying for this project will be considered for a University studentship, which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support grant of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 4 years. Limited funding opportunities for outstanding Overseas candidates may be available. Some School of Management studentships require recipients to contribute annually up to a maximum of 133 hours of seminar-based teaching and assessment in years 2, 3 and 4 of study (students will not be expected to give lectures).

How good is research at University of Bath in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 64.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.