Handling the Educational Deviant in Birmingham, 1945-1970 – A comparison between educational professionals' interventions towards immigrants and mentally disabled children as a state-crafting practice

Room 524 in the School of Education
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences, Students
Thursday 4th December 2014 (13:00-14:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Jo Thomas
Tel  0121 415 8240
Email j.thomas.1@bham.ac.uk

Dr Christian Ydesen is a visiting scholar from Aalborg University, Denmark. In this presentation he will present his analysis and findings gathered from the empirical work done in Birmingham City Archive during his visit.

Since the emergence of the English welfare state an increasingly diversified group of professionals have formed the backbone of how the modern state interacts with and intervenes in citizens’ lives. A key area, where such interactions and interventions become visible is in educational policies and practices vis-à-vis children deviating from normality in one way or the other. In this presentation Christian will explore the range and depth of professional interventions towards particular groups of immigrant children and mentally disabled children in a comparative perspective during the constitutive years of the English welfare state.

The comparative perspective sheds light on the contrasts and inner workings of how the English welfare state in general and the education system in particular was shaped in areas such as the employment of statistics, the role of professionals, policies, practices, notions of ‘Britishness’, professional cultures and world views.

The presentation argues that mentally disabled children and particular groups of immigrant children were understood by professionals to disturb the educational field and thus became mirrors or catalysts shaping educational practices and policies as well as professional identities and ultimately the English welfare state.