Childhood mobilities of the early 20th and 21st Centuries

  • Brookfield, Katherine (PI)
  • Parry, Jane (CoI)

Project Details

Academic description

‘The Edwardians’ (Thompson, 1992) was a landmark oral history project that produced a unique, open-access dataset which, through rich, first-person accounts, reveals the everyday lives, routines and mobilities of ‘working class’ families at the start of the 20th Century, in the period 1900 to 1918. Although of exceptional value, little if any recent research has made use of these data. To remedy this, we want to use the dataset to investigate contemporary issues in historical contexts. Such integration of the past and the present will provide original perspectives on both.

Engaging with pressing C21st concerns like ‘stranger danger’ (Valentine, 1997), the demise of outdoor play (Witten et al., 2013), the changing nature of childhood (Valentine and McKendrck, 1997), rising childhood obesity (Ebbeling et al., 2002) and children’s access to nature (Natural England, 2015; DEFRA, 2018), initially we plan to use the dataset to explore childhood mobilities.

For a project with lasting academic influence and wider impact, we want to design with colleagues a study that involves analysis of historical data from The Edwardians, and the collection of new qualitative interview data on children’s mobilities at the start of the C21st, focusing on the period 2000 to 2018. Synthesising these data will facilitate innovative investigations into the evolution of children’s mobile geographies over the last 100 years allowing us to address, and question, common assumptions and policy concerns regarding children’s use of space.

Public Project Summary

Effective start/end date1/01/1931/07/19


  • University of York


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.