Handling Money in Close Relationships in Young Family Households in Poland

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Marta OLCON-KUBICKA , Department of Sociology, Instytut Filozofii i Sociologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Poland
The paper discusses the monetary practices in close relationships in young family households in Poland and shows mutual influence of life and economic strategies made by young Poles who constitute the “free market generation.” Young adults (18-35) who were growing up in the socio-economic reality after the transformation of 1989, are now in crucial age for making a wide range of life and economic choices. This generation is interesting as undergoing the transformation of models of family life, the process of individualization, and a shift in family roles. They develop new habits regarding money and consumption, and are subject to new kinds of risks and uncertainties.

In order to show the social context in which young family households’ monetary practices are problematized and represented the paper uses the qualitative content analysis of the internet message boards. Discourse analysis is focused on reconstruction of underlying assumptions (“common knowledge” and ‘taken-for-granted’ issues) about money in young family households and on identification of language patterns related to the issue.

The research has identified money and “monetary rules” as one of the most discussed problems in the household. Young people have serious doubts about money decision making and money in a relationship is a fodder for ongoing moral and economic reasoning. Examples of such problems are: Should childcare provided by a grandmother be rewarded financially by her daughter working full-time? How many bank accounts should a cohabiting couple open: one that is shared, two where each has a separate one, or three where each has a separate one and there is an additional one for household expenses?  With a wide range of existing patterns related to the monetary practices in young family households the paper focuses on the process of rules establishing in the making.