Sheffield academics to visit ISS21

20 Sep 2013
Sheffield University

We look forward to welcoming Professor Allison James and Professor Penny Curtis (Directors of the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth at Sheffield University) who will visit the ISS21 Children and Young People Research Cluster on the 3rd and 4th October 2013. Their visit is supported by the UCC Strategic Research Fund. During their visit they will participate in a number of research activities including the events below:



Thursday 3rd October, 16.00 – 18.00, West Wing 5

Agentic Children: towards a child-centred perspective on socialization

Professor Allison James   

This paper explores the ways in which socialization might be considered as something that children participate in rather than something that is simply done to them.  Drawing on the idea of personal life, I use empirical research with children to show how children get to know about the social world through the kinds of social relationships and embodied experiences they have in their everyday lives.


Age, Ageism and Intergenerational Relations

Professor Penny Curtis

This presentation will reflect on the notion of ageism. Drawing on data generated with secondary-school children and with older people it will consider how categorical notions of age are constructed in and through their narratives and how these are – or are not – mediated through social relationships and individuals’ experiences.


Friday 4th October 12.00 – 14.00 CACSSS Seminar Room, ORB Ground Floor

Engaging Children in Research – A Structured Conversation

Professors James and Curtis invite staff members and postgraduates in the UCC community to a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in research with children and to share their own ideas and experiences.  

All Welcome


Allison James is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield. She has worked in the sociology/anthropology of childhood since the late 1970s and has helped pioneer the theoretical and methodological approaches to research with children which are central to the new childhood studies. Her work focuses on children as social actors and her research has included work on children's language and culture in relation to theories of socialisation, children's attitudes towards sickness and bodily difference and children's experiences of everyday life at home and at school. Recently completed research projects include an ESRC funded study of children's perceptions of hospital space and an exploration into children's participation in family life that used food and eating as a main focus. This study was part of the Leverhulme funded, Changing Families, Changing Food research programme. Her current programme of research explores theories of socialisation and children's biographies.

Penny Curtis is a Professor in Child and Family Health and Wellbeing, in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Penny has a professional background in health care. She completed a PhD in sociology and lectured in health sociology for a number of years before taking up her post at the University of Sheffield.

Penny's research relates broadly to children's health and wellbeing. She is currently involved in 3 studies exploring: intergenerational community relationships; the role of Cultural- and Arts-Based Approaches to Enhancing Inter-Generational Relationships and; children’s interactions with green-roofs. Recently completed work has been concerned with children’s food-related practices and their participation in decision making within the family; work with the parents of children and young people with obesity; evaluation of a community based obesity intervention programme; an exploration of experiences of children and young people with obesity and; a qualitative study involving young people who are unsuccessful in losing weight following attendance at an obesity intervention programme.

Penny is also interested in constructions of childhood in, and children’s experiences of, the built environment and has undertaken an ESRC funded study ‘Space to Care' (with Professor Allison James, Department of Sociological Studies), which explored children's perceptions and experiences of spatial aspects of hospitals Project website: Space to Care: Children's Perceptions of Spatial Aspects of Hospitals

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

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30