Great Expectations? Childhood and Social Mobility

Rags to Riches?: Experiences of Social Mobility Since 1800’, an interdisciplinary research network based at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), is hosting a one day workshop in Oxford on Friday 10th June 2016.

We would like to invite researchers at all levels across the social sciences, the life sciences, and the humanities, including those working outside academia, to submit abstracts for short (10 minute) working papers on new directions in the study of social mobility and childhood.

Diverse factors viewed as determining a child’s future success – from good nutrition in infancy to academic readiness for and access to university education - have emerged as an important topic in policy, research and the media. At the core of these discourses is the framing of social mobility in and through childhood as the key to life-long wellbeing, opportunity, and advancement. The aim of the workshop is to explore these social, cultural, biological, and historical ways of placing the child at the centre of social mobility, at both the individual and the population level. 

We invite papers that critically address social mobility in and through childhood, interrogating developmental stages from infancy to adolescence either longitudinally or cross-sectionally, across disciplines, geographies and time periods.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
▪ Histories and experiences of education as a means to social (im)mobility
▪ Public health policies as social mobility interventions
▪ Classed geographies and spatialiaties of childhood
▪ Developmental and epigenetic approaches to social mobility
▪ Play, leisure, and material cultures of childhood as forms of cultural capital
▪ Affective and embodied experiences of social class and social mobility in childhood
▪ Literary and artistic depictions of children’s social mobility

Abstracts of up to 200 words, along with a short CV, should be sent to [] by 25 April 2016. Please note in your proposal if you will need AV.

If you have any questions please contact William Clement, Karin Eli and Catherine Sloan on []

Rags to Riches?: Experiences of Social Mobility since 1800