Book chapter

I have a chapter included in a new book Critical Geographies of Childhood and Youth: Policy and Practice edited by Peter Kraftl, John Horton and Faith Tucker, and due to be published later this year by the Policy Press.  My chapter,  “The place of aspiration: moving up or moving beyond?”, provides a broad overview of the work developed through this project.  Here’s a snapshot of what it contains:

“I begin with a short overview of the history of British widening participation policy since 1997, suggesting that there have been three distinct phases in the implementation of this policy over this period.  This chapter focuses on the second of those phases, in which the emphasis was on interventions designed to change the aspirations of young people from low income families so that they could contribute to future national economic competitiveness.  In the second section of this chapter I examine how interventions around young people’s aspirations during this period (2001 – 2010) simultaneously operated in relation to multiple spatial scales.  In the third section I examine the spatiality of specific interventions by widening participation practitioners to influence young people’s aspirations in practice.  Through understanding how these interventions developed and are practiced, it is possible to formulate more critical approaches to developing young people’s aspirations (that are all the more important given the Coalition government’s cuts to widening participation funding).  In the final section of the paper, I offer an alternative spatial language to describe widening participation interventions.  I conclude by considering the political and ethical value of enabling young people to broaden their horizons by developing an outward-looking orientation to the world beyond their home neighbourhoods.” (Brown, forthcoming)

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