Category: Sociology of Children

How can we foster positive outcomes for children and young people in care, and what can we learn from ‘success’ stories?

‘Graduation was a really happy day. When I went on stage [my former counsellor] was cheering and stuff and you’re not supposed to do that. She was so excited. She was crying actually; it was so embarrassing. I feel very proud. No one thought I would…genuinely, other than [former counsellor]. In my care reviews, it would be like, lots of people don’t succeed at university. So, to me that [graduation] was like, in your face!’ *Karen ‘She [social worker] understood…She...

‘Cloud chasers’ and ‘substitutes’: e-cigarettes, vaping subcultures and vaper identities

The social meaning of e-cigarettes and vaping involves a vaping subculture, ideas about health through harm reduction, pleasure and community, as well as addiction and stigma. Some use e-cigarettes to quit smoking; others thrive in the flavoured clouds. In addition, there is a ‘split vision’ of health and stigma in the perceptions of vaping where the vaper identities are constantly negotiated. The use of e-cigarettes has increased and moved beyond a cessation-only practice, were vaping has started to serve social,...

Effects of trauma‐informed approaches in schools: A systematic review

This is a Plain Language Summary of an Open Access Systematic Review published in Campbell Systematic Reviews originally published on 17 July 2019 The review in brief Despite growing support and increased rate of which trauma‐informed approaches are being promoted and implemented in schools, evidence to support this approach is lacking. What is this review about? Exposure to different types of trauma have been associated with varying types and complexity of adverse outcomes, including adverse effects on cognitive functioning, attention,...

Marketing Children: Overcoding Indigenous Children with Colonial Happiness in the Child Welfare System

In 1964, the Today’s Child column began in the Toronto Telegram, written by Helen Allen at the behest of then-Deputy Minister of Welfare in Ontario, Dr. James Band. In 1972, the column moved to the Toronto Star. The Today’s Child ran weekly until 1982 and featured over 4,000 daily advertisements of children who were available for adoption. Each column would feature a photo of the child or multiple children and offer descriptions of each child’s appearance and disposition. A television...

Infant feeding and the need for sociology

Discussion of how mothers feed their babies is rarely out of the news. Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent reflects on the issues.  As we teach our students, the sociological imagination helps us to see the relatedness of private problems and public issues. Sociological work about feeding babies stands as an excellent example of the application of this point. Research about the public struggles over how babies are fed, and the struggles women...

Won’t somebody think of the children? Social democratic and neoliberal responses to ‘troubled families’ since 1945

When then Prime Minister David Cameron launched the Troubled Families Programme (TFP) in 2011 he claimed that ‘we’ve known for years that a relatively small number of families are the source of a large proportion of the problems in society’. He then outlined how his government would, in a radical new policy, ‘turn around’ the lives of the 120,000 so-called ‘troubles families’ by the end of the Parliamentary term. It did not work. In its official evaluation, the TFP was...

Children’s Experiences of Childcare in Australia

Our article, “Autonomy, Fairness and Active Relationships: Children’s Experiences of Well-being in Childcare” (Cooke et al., 2018), recently published in Children & Society, provides insight into how children view their care, in a context where policy makers and academics agree that children’s subjective well-being in childcare is important, but research on this topic is limited. While some studies have examined children’s experiences of specific childcare settings (e.g. Outside School Hours Care [OSHC], Early Childhood Education and Care [ECEC]), many families...

Child’s play? Children and young people’s resistances to domestic violence and abuse

Children’s play is often viewed through adult eyes. We worry if children don’t get to play enough, and are often concerned that they are getting opportunities for the ‘right kind’ of play – they need to play ‘properly’ to grow up into ‘proper’ adults.  In developmental research, play is often described as a kind of stepping stone or building block toward something else. So when a child is throwing a ball to another child, professionals might see this as an...

Imagining their Future Selves: Children’s Attitudes to Older People and their Expectations of Life at Age 70

Our recent article ‘Imagining their Future Selves: Children’s Attitudes to Older People and their Expectations of Life at Age 70’ published in the journal Children & Society provided an insight into children’s thoughts about older people, and how they imagine their own lives will be when they are older. So why is this important? Well, we know that the world’s population is ageing.  We also know that there has been scare-mongering about the ‘crisis’ this will cause, especially for the...

Unqualified Teachers: Why Our Young People Deserve Better

According to shadow education secretary Tristam Hunt, there are currently 17,100 unqualified teachers, teaching more than 400,000 of our children, in state funded schools. I was one of them. In 2007, burnt out from years working in the care sector, I decided it was time for a change. I needed some hope – to feel I was making a difference. I responded to an advert for a job as a Lesson Cover Supervisor in a local secondary school in my...