Globalization as seen through a locked door. The impact of the Great Recession on the wellbeing of "latchkey children" in Spain (2008-2018)


  • Gonzalo de Castro Lamela ChildFund Alliance
  • Clarisa Giamello ChildFund Alliance
  • Macarena Céspedes Quintanilla ChildFund Alliance


All The effects of the Great Recession in Spain (2008-2018), analyzed through daily life and people's life aspirations, expose the limits associated with improving wellbeing in a Development model based on economic growth. These limits can be perceived in the inconsistency between social policy arguments that focus on employability as a mechanism of social integration, and the cost that this has had for thousands of families. It is also evident in the challenges faced by organizations and local governments caused by the increase in social problems and needs, and the lack of necessary resources for addressing them. The dilemma in both examples is to find individual or local solutions to structural and supranational problems. Bearing in mind the characteristics of the period, this research on the lives of Latchkey Children, shows the effects of the Great Recession on a vulnerable, diffuse, invisible group that has taken poverty and precariousness indoors. These are children unwillingly living in social isolation, with parents who have little time, scarce resources for resisting the risk of poverty, and above all a lack of close family and social relationships. The scarcity in these three areas shows the relational impact of poverty and social exclusion on children and adolescent wellbeing. The research has also revealed the existence of a particular group that survives in extreme hardship, in densely populated urban environments, and most often in single mother families. The Other Latchkey Children reflect an apocalyptic version of globalization in the 21st century.






Special Issue: "Child Maltreatment, Child Protection and Child Well-being"