Throughout the world neoliberal restructuring has wrought complex changes in both capital accumulation and social reproduction. These are often viewed as separate or unconnected, but, at the most basic level, economies cannot survive without the reproduction of individuals, societies and the human race. Frequently, awareness of this important principle is not reflected in policy agendas until a crisis emerges. Throughout history though, commentators have stressed the interdependence between the economic and social spheres. Karl Polanyi, in his classic 1944 work The Great Transformation, points out that scientific significance is diminished when an understanding of the social implications of the market economy is excluded from the analysis. Polanyi also posited that capitalism is continually engaged in the internal struggle between the demand of capital accumulation on the one hand and the need for social sustainability and reproduction on the other (Polanyi 1957). In the present era of neoliberalism, the potential for capital accumulation to be pursued at the cost of social reproduction was encapsulated in a recent media headline warning of the potential for Australia to become a ‘beautiful economy (but) with a dysfunctional society’ (Steketee 2005: 10). Of course, the ‘problem’ of social reproduction extends beyond the abstract level of theory to shape the daily lives of people and the choices available to them. The everyday lives of men, women and children are currently affected by many challenges that constrain social reproduction.