PhD (full-time): first year.
How do early years practitioners make sense of their work with children and families in the context of policy, multi-agency and professional identity?
Early years services have increasingly been seen by government as an opportunity to offer technical solutions to the social problems of inequality and childhood poverty. Multi-agency working has been a central tenet of policy, perceived as having positive benefits for service users whilst improving efficiency. Children’s Centres are institutions designed specifically to deliver the government’s vision of ‘joined-up’ early years services and thus make for a richly illustrative case.
My research focuses on practitioners within the context of a Children’s Centre situated in the wider sphere of early years services. Its aims are to explore:
the influence of the dominant discourse within policy documents on practitioners’ constructions of ‘the child’ and ‘the family’;
how different professional beliefs and understandings are reconciled within a multi-agency setting;
how practitioners develop, enact and share their own professional identity; and
whose interests are served.
Social Constructions of Children and Parenting
Neo-liberalism and Social Policy
Critical Discourse Analysis
Dr Marion Bowl