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An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of energy vulnerability among urban young adults

Butler, DE 2016, An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of energy vulnerability among urban young adults , MSc by research thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

In England, fuel poverty (FP) is estimated to affect as many as 2.35 million households. ‘Young adult households’ – those where the oldest member is younger than twenty-five – are disproportionately more likely to be fuel poor than any other age group. However, research focused specifically on this demographic group, particularly among young adult, non-student households, remains almost entirely absent from the evidence base. Contributing to this gap, the present research adopted a qualitative methodological approach to explore how urban young adults construct and make sense of their relationship with domestic energy as independent household members. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, six semi-structured interviews were undertaken with young adults who were not in education and had recent or current experience of living independently within an urban context (Salford, Greater Manchester). Analytic focus was directed towards the subjective experiences of how domestic energy is used and paid for, as well as energy related challenges and vulnerabilities. Multiple experiences of and exposure to conditions typical of FP were disclosed, including: self-disconnection of energy supply, energy debts, cold homes and unrelenting challenges associated with damp and laundry practices. Detailed discussion of the findings is presented under three emergent themes: ‘establishing the independent home’, ‘threats to home comfort’ and ‘energy and coping’. Limitations and suggestions for further research are considered, including the potential to further define the homogeneity of the sample by considering certain sub-demographic groups, such as young adult migrants, lone-parents or those within specific household formations. Keywords: fuel poverty, energy vulnerability, young adults, independent household member, lived experience, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Schools: Schools > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences Research
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Funders: Eaga Charitable Trust
Depositing User: DE Butler
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 08:43
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2016 08:43
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38007

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