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Tracking the Gendered Life Courses of Care Leavers in Nineteenth Century Britain

Cox, Pamela and Shore, Heather and Alker, Zoe and Godfrey, Barry (2018) 'Tracking the Gendered Life Courses of Care Leavers in Nineteenth Century Britain.' Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 9 (1). ISSN 1757-9597

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The adult outcomes of children raised in care are a matter of much concern in Britain today. Care leavers account for a quarter of the adult prison population, a tenth of the young homeless population, and over two thirds of sex workers (Centre for Social Justice, 2015: 4). This article argues that, by contrast, the first generation of boys and girls passing through the early care system were more likely to have experienced a modest improvement in their life chances. It explores three key questions. First, what mechanisms shaped adult outcomes of care in the past? Second, did these vary by gender? Third, what might life course approaches to these issues gain from engaging both with historical- and gender-inflected analysis? The article draws on our wider analysis of the life courses and life chances of 400 adults who passed through the early youth justice and care systems as children in the northwest of England from the 1860s to the 1920s. These systems were closely interlinked. Within that, the article focuses on the experiences of a subgroup sent to a more care-oriented institution. It compares their collective outcomes with those of the wider group and within-group by gender. It offers a selection of case studies of women’s lives before and after care to highlight the value of, and challenges involved in, undertaking gender analysis in life course research of this kind.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adult outcomes of care; life-course; gender; child removal
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 11:36
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2021 15:45

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