Children and Young People Research Seminars

6 Nov 2013

The ISS21 Children and Young People Research Cluster looks forward to welcoming visiting researchers from the Childhood and Youth Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University and from Child Studies at Linkoping University to UCC in late November 2013. Disa Bergnehr (Linkoping University) and Darren Sharpe and Carlo Perrotta (Anglia Ruskin) will meet with cluster members to explore potential future collaborations and will present their research at the seminars detailed below. This visit forms part of a knowledge exchange initiative funded by the UCC Strategic Research Fund.

All are welcome to come along to the seminars - see 'Read More'.



Children and Young People Research Seminars 26th -28th November 2013

Disa Bergnéhr (Child Studies, Linköping University)

Carlo Perrotta and Darren Sharpe (CYRI, Anglia Ruskin University)


Hosted by ISS21 (Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century) Children and Young People Research Cluster

and supported by UCC Strategic Research Fund



Tuesday 26th November, 3.00-5.00pm (Brookfield Health Sciences Complex G02)

Recognition and telling: Developing earlier routes to safety for children and young people (Darren Sharpe)


Wednesday 27th November, 3.00-5.00pm (Western Gateway Building G09)

Motherhood the Swedish way? (Un)employment, childrearing and mothering in immigrant women’s positioning of family life in the societal context of work-first policies(Disa Bergnéhr)


Thursday 28th November, 2.00-4.00pm,Digital Technologies Research Seminar (Brookfield Health Sciences Complex 102)

Young people, education and digital technology (Carlo Perrotta)

Suicide prevention through internet and media based mental health promotion (Darren Sharpe) 





Recognition and telling: Developing earlier routes to safety for children and young people (Dr. Darren Sharpe)

Funded by the Office Children Commissioner in England, and sponsored by the Department for Education, the Children and Youth Research Institute (CYRI) in Anglia Ruskin University and the University of East Anglia are jointly undertaking this study to gain greater knowledge of how children and young people recognise and deal with problems of abuse and neglect and navigate the child protection system in Britain. The study sought to contribute to service provision to improve access to support for children and young people who are at risk of abuse and neglect. The main findings of this study are being presented at the seminar.

Motherhood the Swedish way? (Un)employment, childrearing and mothering in immigrant women’s positioning of family life in the societal context of ‘work-first’ policies (Dr. Disa Bergnéhr)

Swedish policies have a long tradition of encouraging mothers to participate in the paid labour market to the same extent as fathers. Introduction of the ‘work-first principle’ (2006) emphasized the importance of paid employment. However, unemployment rates are relatively high, particularly among young people and immigrants, leaving many families dependent on social welfare. The present study explores immigrant women’s subjectivities and positioning of family life. Previous research and poststructuralist feminist theory suggest that there are ‘contradictions between dominant institutionalized definitions of women’s nature and social role’ (Weedon, 1997, p. 4), for instance, the ideals of paid work/career contradict the ideals of motherhood. The present study focuses on the conflicts and dilemmas these contradictory demands may result in for immigrant women and their social relations.

Five focus groups with 20 mothers of primary school children have been analysed. The women were unemployed but were occupied on a daily basis with Swedish language studies or as (unpaid) trainees – the requirement for receiving social welfare. The women recurrently position their parenting practices, employment, and family relations as marginalized in relation to Swedish regulations and norms. This positioning is concurrently related to the ‘work-first principle’ (i.e., paid work and welfare independence). The women affirm labour market participation. However, the principle (and policy) is also questioned, based on the women’s experiences of difficulties in finding a job, despite their concerted efforts. Furthermore, they position their parenting and family relations as being restrained by conditions laid down by the Social Services.

Young people, education and digital technology (Dr. Carlo Perrotta)

The session will illustrate findings and suggestions from research carried out at the intersection of education, childhood research and digital technology research over the past 3 years.  The session will discuss the patterns of usage of digital technology in educational settings; this will illustrate the contradictions between evidence of limited and restricted forms of engagement vs. the rhetoric of empowerment and “enhancement” that dominates the field of educational technology. The session will also explore the myths of 21st century skills and digital literacies and how they can be used instrumentally to promote a neo-liberal agenda that does not necessarily serve the interests of young people. In conclusion, the session will discuss (possibly in an interactive way) the potential of digital technology for emancipation in and outside educational settings.

Suicide prevention through internet and media based mental health promotion (Dr. Darren Sharpe)

This session will present preliminary findings from the UK arm of the EU funded project (SUPREME) which aims to develop, implement and evaluate an internet based intervention examining mental health promotion and suicide prevention with young people aged 14-16 years. Full findings will be available from March 2014.




Dr. Disa Bergnéhr, Thematic Studies – Child Studies, Linköping University

Disa Bergnéhr is based in the Department of Thematic Studies – Child Studies (Tema Barn) at Linköping University. Her current research interests are schools in disadvantaged areas, school - home relations, children’s health and well-being, the value of children in contemporary Western societies, family formation and the transition to parenthood, parent support services, family life, parenthood and the auspicious childhood, and childhood and nature.

Dr. Carlo Perrotta, Childhood and Youth Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University

Carlo Perrotta is a research fellow in the Childhood and Youth Research Institute. His research focuses on how young people make sense of digital technologies in and outside education. Carlo has carried out research on digital technology and education funded or sponsored by a range of organisations and international bodies including: the EU Commission, Microsoft Partners in Learning, Becta, Cisco, Pearson, the ESRC, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).  He has written reports, articles, and presented at international conferences on a range of topics including creativity, digital identities, e-assessment and the factors influencing the educational benefits of ICT.

Dr Darren Sharpe, Childhood and Youth Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University

Darren Sharpe, born 22 September 1973 in Nottinghamshire UK, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Childhood and Youth Research Institute, at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge, UK. Dr Sharpe is a Sociologist and specialises in user involvement in social policy research. He is an award winning and highly accomplished academic-activist who has worked tirelessly since 1997 to improve outcomes for young people who do not have a powerful voice. Prior to his appointment at Anglia Ruskin University Dr Sharpe was the founder of the Young Researcher Network (YRN) at the leading UK youth think tank, NYA.  The YRN comprised of national and international youth organisations who mission it was to improve outcomes for children and young people by equipping them with research skills and know-how to develop an empirical voice to lobby for changes.  Dr Sharpe has also lectured at Nottingham Trent University and Loughborough University in the Social Sciences. He’s taught and developed modules on Qualitative Research Methods, Social Structure, ‘Race’, Culture and Society, and Criminal Justice Research. Dr Sharpe has written widely and been an invited speaker at national and international  conferences on a range of socioeconomic and sociocultural issues affecting young people in Europe and beyond. Dr Sharpe has undertaken high quality and impactful research sponsored by the Economic Social Research Council, Office of Children's Commission in England, Ministry of Defence, Department of Education, British Council, British Academy and European Commission.

Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

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