You are looking at 1 - 10 of 14 items for
- Author or Editor: Fiona Corby x
For anyone studying childhood or families a consideration of the state may not always seem obvious, yet a good critical knowledge of politics, social policy and social theory is vital to understanding their impacts upon families’ everyday lives. Accessibly written and assuming no prior understanding, it shows how key concepts, including vulnerability, risk, resilience, safeguarding and wellbeing are socially constructed.
Carefully designed to support learning, it provides students with clear guidance on how to use what they have read when writing academic assignments alongside questions designed to support the develop of critical thinking skills.
Covering issues from what the family is within a multicultural society, through issues around poverty, social mobility and life-chances, this book gives students an excellent grounding in matters relating to work with children and families. It features:
‘using this chapter’ sections showing how the content can be used in assignments;
tips on applying critical thinking to books and articles – and how to make use of such thinking in essays;
Chapter 1 illustrates how students can frame their assignments, with Bronfenbrenner’s socio-ecological model being an example of this. Bronfenbrenner is used to provide a frame for the book as a whole in terms of how children and families exist within social, political and cultural contexts that may change over time. A comparison of Piaget and Vygotsky is also used to illustrate the shortcomings of many psychological approaches towards child development.
Chapter 2 considers how families are formed and defined with a focus on socially liberal and socially conservative views as well as the way that this feeds into policy. A discussion of romantic love and of relationships points to how things which can be taken for granted are socially constructed before moving on to introduce and explain discourse. This also raises the issue of discourse operating as power and of the way in which discourses compete.
This chapter considers how the state may act to regulate families in line with ideological concerns. It draws on examples of state intervention historically and internationally to illustrate how the state acts towards families. A particular focus is on parenting with consideration of types of parenting and ideas about parenting drawing on political ideologies and policies. A focus on failing families is used to demonstrate discourse and rhetoric in policy with this being used to explore ideas about an underclass.
This chapter provides definitions of the state, legislation and of policy, as well as discussing how states operate, and considers how policy is put into practice by bodies such as local authorities. It also refers to supra-national bodies such as the European Union. The chapter talks about how the state exists as a framework within which we have rights and explores issues relating to rights and how this relates to power, including how we may deny rights to certain groups and what this means for children. It uses the example of seeing children as becomings rather than beings to justify actions aimed at children.
This chapter introduces students to a range of relevant political ideologies and aims to illustrate how political parties move along the Left–Right axis showing how governments are rarely consistent in terms of ideology. Importantly, in respect of issues such as Black Lives Matter we explore neoconservatism, something which is often overlooked in texts. We demonstrate that neoliberalism is not necessarily a laissez faire approach and show how, although Labour may often be presented as left wing, under Blair they introduced approaches that reflected neoliberalism.
Having established that the state acts on children and families in accordance with political ideologies, this chapter develops an understanding of how ideologies are put into practice with a focus on aspects of the welfare state and in demonstrating that governments may sometimes appear to be contradictory when it comes to ideology. This also enables a critical consideration of the welfare state by considering how gender is seen in respect of families and the ways in which need comes to play an important role.
This chapter considers how many concepts within social science are both seductive and slippery but demonstrates how students will benefit from being precise in how they use them. In being critical of wellbeing, especially in policy, the chapter considers how wellbeing is often individualised and also how it is that increasing numbers of children and young people report unhappiness with their lives.
Discourse is used to demonstrate arguments around children being naturally vulnerable and to offer a critical approach to demonstrate that vulnerability is forged within a particular set of social structures and ideas which position children in a certain way. This moves on to ideas about need and to the ways in which vulnerability comes to be seen as an inevitable aspect of poverty. This is used to explore how children differ and to consider that age and development take place within a social and policy context.
Resilience is often presented as a concept that is taken for granted but this is another concept that can be quite slippery. This chapter compares ideas about resilience as something that some have and others do not with ideas that position it along a continuum and as something which is a dynamic process. The relationship between the individual, the family and the community is important here but it has to be considered within a broader framework. Resilience affords the scope to explore the concept that young people are snowflakes, something which we reject.