Aspirations in a bounded place: children’s perspectives on the impact of poverty and deprivation on future life chances.

Williams, Gavin (2018). Aspirations in a bounded place: children’s perspectives on the impact of poverty and deprivation on future life chances. In: Bridging the Gap - A Social Mobility Summit for Wales, 24 May 2018, Cardiff.


Presentation Objectives: A ‘scene- setting’ presentation to discuss recent doctoral research exploring children’s perspectives of growing up in a deprived area in the South Wales valleys and their perceptions of its impact on learning and future life chances. Specifically the presentation identified that children who live in deprived areas with high levels of poverty do not necessarily suffer from a poverty of aspiration. However there was a misalignment between the children’s aspirations and the opportunities available to them in their locality, creating a perceived need to ‘get out to get on’. These findings were discussed in relation to working-class communities where migration could further entrench existing issues. It also presented further areas for consideration during the Summit for the audience, including: the role for Higher Education Institutions in strengthening links with schools to maintain aspirations; Widening Participation programmes to focus at an earlier age; and the importance of creating a sense of belonging so individuals may get out but then return to give back to their communities. Overall the findings of the study provided insight into working-class children’s perceptions and identify the importance of seeking children’s understandings of social mobility along with the impact it has on working-class communities.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 59352
  • Item Type
  • Conference or Workshop Item
  • Extra Information
  • Summit Objectives: The Summit was held by the Welsh Government and The Open University in Wales to bring together government, think tanks, researchers, politicians, the third sector and business leaders to kick-start a drive for action on Social Mobility in Wales, and specifically to explore the following questions:

    After 19 years of devolution, has the structure of our society changed for the better?

    Do our citizens have the tools they need to build a better life for themselves and their families?

    Keynote speakers included Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM and former UK Cabinet Minister and recent Chair of the Social Mobility Commission Alan Milburn.

    Outcomes: A Wales-wide practitioners’ network has been established to discuss barriers and focus on practical solutions to enhance social mobility.
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
    Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Research Group
  • Childhood and Youth
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2018 The Author
  • Depositing User
  • Gavin Williams