1st Edition

Educational Binds of Poverty
The lives of school children

ISBN 9781138291119
Published December 5, 2016 by Routledge
202 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Shortlisted for BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed's second Ethnography Awards in partnership with the British Sociological Association!

Educational Binds of Poverty tackles the assumptions made by many recent social and educational policy initiatives suggesting that the best way to improve educational prospects of children in poverty is through an increased emphasis upon a culture of control, discipline, regulation and accountability. In this book, Ceri Brown presents these assumptions against a review of the research literature and an original ethnographic longitudinal study into the lives of children in poverty, in order to highlight the gap between policy discourses and the lived experiences of children themselves. 

Through the theoretical concept of a set of ‘binds’ against educational success, the book explores four key areas that children in poverty have to navigate if they are to be successful in school. These are:

    • material deprivation
    • the cultural contexts of school, home and the community
    • friendship and social capital
    • the effects of student mobility through atypical school changes.

In seeking to characterise and explain what life is like for young school children, this book questions why policy makers have a radically different frame of reference in purporting to understand how their policies will change the behaviour of those living in poverty. This leads onto a consideration of what lessons may be learned in order to contribute towards a more appropriate policy agenda that attends to the multiple binds that children in poverty have to negotiate.

Table of Contents

1. Under Achievement of Children in Poverty: Scoping the policy context  2. The Educational Binds of Poverty  3. Clive: School life following relocation in a single parent family  4. Liza: School life following family break-up and relocation with father  5. Megan: School life as a highly mobile Irish Traveller  6. Codie: School life after community relocation due to unaffordable housing  7. Helen: School life following school change due to bullying  8. Robin: School life with a hearing impediment and relocation due to paternal redundancy  9. Unpicking the Binds: Learning (in) lessons from those that don't

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Ceri Brown is Lecturer in Education at the University of Bath, UK.