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Title: Enriching children, institutionalizing childhood? Geographies of play, extracurricular activities, and parenting in England
Authors: Holloway, Sarah L.
Pimlott-Wilson, Helena
Keywords: Children's geographies
Concerted cultivation
Geographies of education
Social class
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Sarah L. Holloway and Helena Pimlott-Wilson. Published by Taylor & Francis
Citation: HOLLOWAY, S.L. and PIMLOTT-WILSON, H., 2014. Enriching children, institutionalizing childhood? Geographies of play, extracurricular activities, and parenting in England. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104 (3), pp. 613 - 627.
Abstract: Geographical research on children, youth, and families has done much to highlight the ways in which children's lives have changed over the last twenty-five years. A key strand of research concerns children's play and traces, in the Global North, a decline in children's independent access to, and mobility through, public space. This article shifts the terrain of that debate from an analysis of what has been lost to an exploration of what has replaced it. Specifically, it focuses on children's participation in enrichment activities, including both individual and collective extracurricular sporting, cultural, and leisure opportunities in England. The research reveals that middle-class children have much higher participation rates in enrichment activities than their working-class counterparts. Parents value enrichment activities in very similar ways across the class spectrum-seeing them as fun, healthy, and social opportunities. The ability to pay for enrichment, however, means that it is incorporated into, and transforms, middle-class family life in ways not open to working-class families. Nevertheless, support across the class spectrum for these instrumental forms of play that institutionalize childhood in school, community, and commercial spaces leads to calls for subsidized provision for low-income children through schools. The article thus traces the "enrichment" and "institutionalization" of childhood and draws out the implications of this for how we think about play, education, parenting, and class in geography. © 2014 Copyright © Sarah L. Holloway and Helena Pimlott-Wilson. Published by Taylor & Francis.
Description: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor: This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) [grant number RES-000-22-4095]. It was written up during Professor Sarah Holloway's British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1080/00045608.2013.846167
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14419
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00045608.2013.846167
ISSN: 0004-5608
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

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