Disrupting doxa about children in care: research from England

Hugman, Catriona (2021) Disrupting doxa about children in care: research from England. In: Negotiating Families and Personal Lives in the 21st Century: Exploring Diversity, Social Change and Inequalities. Sociological Futures . Routledge. ISBN 9780367483401 (Accepted for Publication)

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This chapter examines theoretically and empirically dominant narratives about children and adults who grew up in care. It draws on data from biographical narrative interpretative method interviews with 11 adults who spent time growing up in care as children. This provides empirical data about the way in which dominant narratives of children in care are differently negotiated in their life stories.

Doxa refers to ‘naturalised knowledge’ (Eagleton and Bourdieu, 1991), that is knowledge which is unlikely to be contested and is complicit in the reproduction of hegemonic values, and is taken for granted. I argue that doxa shapes the dominant narrative of children in care and contributes to the experiences of social disrespect and the problematisation of young people’s agency. In this chapter there is a particular discussion about the dominant narratives of the child in care as a passive and helpless child, and the child in care as being naughty, or, as having done something wrong. I highlight how the concept of doxa (Bourdieu and Eagleton, 1991) can assist sociologists of the family in theorising the effects and evolutions of dominant stories in society. This contributes to the aims of the collection by demonstrating theoretical innovation that can be used to critically question the taken for granted.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: family; children in care; sociology; Bourdieu; history; narrative
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Social Science
Depositing User: Catriona Hugman
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2021 10:12
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2021 10:12
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3326

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