e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Everybody is just Manchester: mothers’ perspectives on (non)engagement with services as a lens to trouble a neoliberal equality discourse in early years policy

Edwards, Monica Jane (2018) Everybody is just Manchester: mothers’ perspectives on (non)engagement with services as a lens to trouble a neoliberal equality discourse in early years policy. Doctoral thesis (EdD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

[img]
Preview

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract

In 2006, the UK government piloted free childcare for two-year-olds from disadvantaged families, expanding this into the ‘two-year-old offer’ (DfE, 2014). Despite efforts to widen participation, families from minority ethnic communities appear less likely to take up the offer (DfE, 2012). Research into non-engagement by families, particularly mothers, from minority ethnic communities frequently find reasons such as language barriers, a lack of service awareness or issues relating to isolation. These conclusions reflect cultural and political tensions that locate problems within communities and do not question powerful normative discourses. Through the narrated experiences of a small group of mothers from Pakistani and Somali heritage, whose young children have engaged with the two-year-old offer, this study interrogates discourses of (non)engagement. The study moves away from focusing research ‘on’ participants, to trouble the neoliberal discourses of equality that shape early years policies, constructing ideas of (non)engagement. By putting a postcolonial feminist lens to work with the stories shared by women in this study, nuanced discussions emerge that entangle their experiences of (non)engagement with broader experiences of sameness, difference and belonging that hint at invisible, powerful equality discourses. The impact of working with postcolonial feminism as a theoretical tool and methodological approach enabled me to think differently about the women’s stories, offering an important focus for analysis, whilst also unsettling the many assumptions and taken-for-granted knowledges I was carrying with me, as a doctoral student. Ruptures, ambiguity and precarity became themes to analyse, not only the study topic of (non)engagement, but also the experience of conducting the research.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
41Downloads
62Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item