Journeys through Childhood Studies: Constructing Identities through Higher Education and the Children’s Workforce, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Journeys through Childhood Studies

Constructing Identities through Higher Education and the Children’s Workforce, 1st Edition

By Ingrid Richter


256 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780815353126
pub: 2019-07-30
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Investigating the experiences of a group of female students as they journey into and through higher education, and into work with and for children, Journeys through Childhood Studies offers a critical analysis of the intersectional influences and effects of social division on experiences of higher education and career trajectories.

The book explores the influences of gender, race, and class on the experiences of higher education and the development of professional identities, and whether the professionalisation of work in relation to children and childhood opens up opportunities for career development or narrows the range of choices available to women. Adopting a distinctive qualitative approach to track strategies used by women participants to accommodate the changing terrain of their journeys, this book demonstrates how the women’s pathways to university are shaped by factors such as social divisions, friends, family, and school, and their experiences of working with children.

Featuring detailed interviews, Journeys through Childhood Studies offers an insightful exploration of the construction and practices of the Children’s Workforce. It is a must read for academics, post-graduate students and those researching childhood studies, professional identities and experiences of higher education.


"This engaging and accessible study provides a unique in-depth analysis of a small group of women students as they navigate their journeys into and through Higher Education. The analysis contributes a rich, feminist understanding of multifaceted patterns of inequality and how individual experiences can be mapped onto institutional structures and processes. Ingrid Richter includes her own biography and research journey which together with the voices of the women students provides a fascinating insight into the personal, academic and professional development of students as they negotiate an HE system and future workforce increasingly impacted by neo-liberal policies."

Sheila Scraton, Professor Emerita, Leeds Beckett University, UK

"In this scholarly and thoughtful feminist research, Ingrid Richter explores how women students navigate opportunities, constraints and inequalities, whilst on degree courses leading to work with children. She develops and analyses vivid portraits of committed, self-aware students, who make considerable effort to work in children’s interests, despite a tough political climate. This is an essential resource for students, academics and professionals involved in advancing children’s rights. Sensitively drawing on women’s reflections, the author challenges many negative assumptions about student motivation and provides important education and encouragement to those on similar courses."

Dr Dorothy Moss, Leeds Beckett University, UK

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: Policy and Politics in Higher Education and The Children’s Workforce; Chapter 3: Social Identities, Educational Choices, and Professional Identities; Chapter 4: Research Approach: Epistemology, Methodology and Methods; Chapter 5: The Journey: Becoming a Childhood Studies Student; Chapter 6: The Journey: Being a Childhood Studies Student; Chapter 7: The Journey: Becoming a Childhood Worker; Chapter 8: Conclusion; Appendix 1: Participant Pen Pictures; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Ingrid Richter was a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at Leeds Beckett University, UK.

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