Great Expectations? Childhood and Social Mobility

rags to riches

TORCH Network Rags to Riches is hosting a workshop on '‘Great Expectations? Childhood and Social Mobility’


9.30-10.00am  Registration

Rector’s Lodgings - Lobby

10.00-11.00am  Roundtable – Is childhood the key stage for social mobility?

Rector’s Lodgings – Drawing Room

Selina Todd, Department of History (University of Oxford)

Virginia Morrow, Department of International Development (University of Oxford)

Stanley Ulijaszek, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (University of Oxford)

Chair: Christina de Bellaigue

11.00-11.30am  Coffee Break

11.30-12.30pm  Parallel Session

Panel 1: Parents and Social Mobility

Rector’s Lodgings – Drawing Room

Christina de Bellaigue, University of Oxford, ‘Reproduction and profit: family planning and social mobility in the industrial bourgeoisie in nineteenth-century France’

Rodolfo Maggio, University of Oxford, ‘Early intervention ethics: the impact of external notions of "good" mothering’

Chair: Laura Tisdall

Panel 2: Memories of Childhood Social Mobility

Rector’s Lodgings – Dining Room

Alison Baker, University of East London, ‘Early reading experiences of white working class trainee teachers’

Johanna Annola, University of Tampere, Finland, ‘The diary of a school boy: a window to the relationship between education and social mobility’

Chair: William Clement

12.30-1.30  Lunch
College Hall

1.30-2.30  Panel 3: Education and Social Mobility

Morris Room

Bálint-Ábel Bereményi, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona & Judit Durst, University College London, ‘High academic achievement and social mobility of Roma Youth: promises to be gained and prices to be paid’

Mary Hatfield, Trinity College Dublin, ‘Educating Bourgeois Irish Children: 1790-1860’

Martin Myrone, Tate Britain, ‘Childhood aspiration and the bio-politics of art education in early nineteenth-century London’

Chair: Bethany White

2.30-2.45  Break

2.45-3.45  Parallel Session

Panel 4: Social Immobility and Childhood

Morris Room

Laura Sefton, University of Birmingham, ‘“Rockefeller, Rothschild, and Me”: ideas of social mobility and inequality in children's financial education’

Madison Mainwaring, Centre nationale de la recherche scientifique, France, ‘The work of the ballet girl: social mobility of female danseuses in France in the nineteenth century’

Sarada Balagopalan, Rutgers University, ‘From 'development' to 'rights': marginal children, education and social mobility in India’

Chair: Eve Worth

Panel 5: Representations of Childhood Social Mobility

Rector’s Lodgings – Dining Room

Sophie Melissa Smith, University of Southampton, ‘Dangerous readings? Social mobility and the socio-political ramifications of Victorian boy's periodicals’

Deniz Arzuk Kocadere, Bogazici University, Istanbul, ‘Who pays the piper calls the tune: media representations of social mobility and educational inequality in Turkey in the 1980s’

Chair: Catherine Sloan

3.45-4.15  Coffee Break

4.15-5.15  Policy Panel: Should promoting children's upward social mobility   be a guiding principle in policy?

Rector’s Lodgings – Drawing Room

Naomi Eisenstadt, Department of Education (University of Oxford)

Karin Eli, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (University of Oxford)

Chair: Selina Todd

5.15   Workshop Finish

Drinks Reception

Rector’s Lodgings – Drawing Room & Garden


Registration necessary. Please contact us for more information:


Rags to Riches?: Experiences of Social Mobility since 1800

Contact name: William Clement

Contact email:

Audience: Open to all