Children s Emotions in Policy and Practice

by Matej Blazek and Peter Kraftl

Author Matej Blazek and Peter Kraftl Isbn 1349555835 File size 1 4MB Year 2015 Pages Language English File format PDF Category Family and Friendship This volume examines children s and young people s emotions in policy making and professional practice It seeks both to inform readers about up to date research and to provoke debate encouraging and enabling critical reflections upon emotions in policy and practice relevant to readers own context Download 1 4MB Divorce and Blended

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Author : Matej Blazek and Peter Kraftl

ISBN : 1349555835

Year : 2015

Language: English

File Size : 1.4MB

Category : Family and Friendship

Studies in Childhood and Youth
Series Editors: Allison James, University of Sheffield, UK, and Adrian James,
University of Sheffield, UK
Titles include:
Leena Alanen, Liz Brooker and Berry Mayall (editors)
Kate Bacon
Parents, Bodies, Space and Talk
Matej Blazek and Peter Kraftl (editors)
Mapping and Making Spaces of Childhood
Emma Bond
Changing Technologies = Changing Childhoods?
David Buckingham, Sara Bragg and Mary Jane Kehily
David Buckingham and Vebjørg Tingstad (editors)
Tom Cockburn
Sam Frankel
Allison James
Allison James, Anne Trine Kjørholt and Vebjørg Tingstad (editors)
Nicholas Lee
Climate Change, Life Processes and Human Futures
Manfred Liebel, Karl Hanson, Iven Saadi and Wouter Vandenhole (editors)
Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Orna Naftali
Raising Self-Governing Citizens
Karen M. Smith
Discourse, Power and Subjectivity

Spyros Spyrou and Miranda Christou
Helen Stapleton
Myths and Realities
E. Kay M. Tisdall, Andressa M. Gadda and Udi M. Butler
Learning from across Countries
Afua Twum-Danso Imoh and Robert Ame (editors)
Hanne Warming (editor)
Karen Wells, Erica Burman, Heather Montgomery and Alison Watson (editors)
Research and Practice in Dialogue
Rebekah Willett, Chris Richards, Jackie Marsh, Andrew Burn and
Julia C. Bishop (editors)
Ethnographic Studies of School Playtimes

Studies in Childhood and Youth
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(outside North America only)
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Children’s Emotions in
Policy and Practice
Mapping and Making Spaces of Childhood
Edited by

Matej Blazek
Loughborough University, UK

Peter Kraftl
University of Birmingham, UK

Selection, introduction and editorial matter © Matej Blazek and
Peter Kraftl 2015
Individual chapters © Respective authors 2015
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ISBN 978-1-349-55583-3
ISBN 978-1-137-41560-8 (eBook)
DOI 10.1057/9781137415608
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For Táˇ
na (MB)
For Adam (PK)

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List of Figures




Notes on Contributors


Highlights for Policy and Practice


1 Introduction: Children’s Emotions in Policy and Practice
Matej Blazek and Peter Kraftl


Part I Spaces of Care, Home and Family
2 The Role of Emotion in Institutional Spaces of Russian
Orphan Care: Policy and Practical Matters
Tom Disney
3 Inappropriate Aid: The Experiences and Emotions of
Tsunami ‘Orphans’ Living in Children’s Homes in Aceh,
Harriot Beazley
4 Young People’s Emotional and Sensory Experiences of
‘Getting By’ in Challenging Circumstances
Sarah Wilson
5 Smoke-Free Cars: Placing Children’s Emotions
Damian Collins and Morgan Tymko




Part II Spaces of the Public Realm, Community and
Peer Relationships
6 Planning for Resilience: Urban Nature and the Emotional
Geographies of Children’s Political Engagement
Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J. Bosco
7 Geographies of Hanging Out: Connecting Everyday
Experiences with Formal Education
Noora Pyyry



viii Contents

8 Young People, Work and Worklessness
Anoop Nayak
9 Social Suicide: A Digital Context for Self-Harm and
Suicidal Ideation
Tamasine Preece



Part III Spaces of Informal Education, Youth Work
and Outreach
10 Emotion, Volunteer-Tourism and Marginalised Youth
Ruth Cheung Judge
11 Are You Listening? Voicing What Matters in Non-Formal
Music Education Policy and Practice
Douglas Lonie and Luke Dickens
12 Biographical Interviews as Emotional Encounters in Street
Youth’s Lives: The Role of Research in Facilitating
Therapeutic Intervention
Lorraine van Blerk and Daryl van Blerk
13 Understanding (How to Be with) Children’s Emotions:
Relationships, Spaces and Politics of Reconnection in
Reflections from Detached Youth Work
Matej Blazek and Petra Hricová





Part IV Spaces of School, Formal Education and
14 Children, Nature and Emotion: Exploring How Children’s
Emotional Experiences of ‘Green’ Spaces Shape Their
Understandings of the Natural World
Lisa Procter
15 Reconstituting Social, Emotional and Mental Health
Difficulties? The Use of Restorative Approaches to Justice
in Schools
Jennifer Lea, Sophie Bowlby and Louise Holt
16 Freedom or Coercion? Citizenship Education Policies and
the Politics of Affect
Bronwyn E. Wood






17 Divided Emotions: Children at War
Kathrin Hörschelmann


18 Mapping and Making Spaces of Childhood
Peter Kraftl and Matej Blazek




3.1 Girl’s map of the Children’s Home: A fence through the
middle, dividing the girls’ living area from the boys
3.2 (Boy’s picture, aged 15): Left: Cleaning the ditch (for
girls). Right: Standing in the sun (for boys)
3.3 (Boy’s drawing, aged 14): A student who disobeys the
teacher says: ‘Ya, Allah . . . !’ Tengku says: ‘From now on
you are going to be whipped with a chain and you have
to stand in the field until evening prayer’
3.4 (Girl’s drawing, aged 11): ‘Last night I dreamt I was
walking with my family, I really missed my little sister
last night’
6.1 Children swimming and fishing in the creek
6.2 Flowering trees in ‘Love Park’
6.3 Tall fences topped with barbed wires
6.4 A secret dome for children
7.1 A mental map produced by four girls
7.2 A mental map produced by two girls
14.1 Children view the roof through this glass balustrade
14.2 The children explained that their peers hold on to the
trunks of these young trees and swing around them
14.3 The green roof: Image showing how the roof blends
with the view of Sheffield
14.4 Service entrance: A space that the children deemed to
have similar felt qualities to the green roof





We both wish to express our thanks to all the chapter authors, as well
as to the original presenters and participants of a co-organised session
at the Fourth International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Geographies, Groningen, July 2013. Several of those presenters
have contributed to this volume and have shaped the collection. We are
especially grateful to Bettina van Hoven for her help with the session,
and to the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group
of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) for co-sponsoring the session. We would also like to thank
Palgrave Macmillan, in particular Andrew James, Harriet Barker and
Amelia Derkatsch, for their editorial support.
Matej’s thanks go to Peter for the very enjoyable collaboration and for
his vision about the book and childhood/emotions more broadly. He is
very grateful to everyone who helped trigger and shape his interest in
emotions and childhood during his time at the University of Dundee,
especially Fiona Smith, Morgan Windram-Geddes, Donna Brown, Chris
Philo, Liz Bondi and all colleagues and young people with whom he
worked at the Kopˇcany Community Centre in Slovakia. The book came
to fruition while he was benefitting from the support of colleagues from
Loughborough University, and he is especially thankful to Darren Smith
and Helen Rendell. Last but not least, he owes so much to the support
of his closest ones.
Peter would like to thank Matej for initiating and organising the original conference session, and for driving forward both the intellectual and
practical aspects of this book with such enthusiasm. He would like to
thank all of the participants who took part in his alternative education
research at 59 learning spaces in the UK, who have inspired an interest
in emotion, learning and youth work in its many guises. The Department of Geography at the University of Leicester – where Peter worked
when this book was written – is a supportive, rich and vibrant place to
work. Peter is particularly grateful to several human geographers at (or
previously at) Leicester with whom he has enjoyed discussions about
emotion, affect, education and young people: Gavin Brown, Jenny
Pickerill, Sarah Mills, Clare Madge, Jen Dickinson, Katy Bennett, Cathie
Traynor, Grace Sykes and Tom Grant. Finally, Peter would like thank his
family and friends for their ongoing love and support.


Harriot Beazley is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and Program Coordinator in International Development at the University of
the Sunshine Coast, Australia. His research interests are located within
social and development geography and children’s geographies, utilising
child-centred research with children and young people in South-East
Asia, especially Indonesia and Cambodia.
Matej Blazek is Lecturer in Human Geography at Loughborough University. He is a social geographer with interest in the formation of
agency, geography of marginalisation and community development,
working usually with, for or as a practitioner.
Fernando J. Bosco is Associate Professor of Geography at San Diego
State University. He works at the intersection of urban, political and cultural geographies, with an overarching interest in social change in the
context of Latin America and the US. His research areas include analyses of the geographic dimensions of social movements and collective
action, and of children, families and their communities.
Sophie Bowlby is a feminist social geographer with interests in issues
of access, care and friendship. She is now retired but continues to
do research as a visiting professor at Loughborough University and a
visiting research fellow at Reading University.
Ruth Cheung Judge is completing a PhD at University College
London. Her broader interests include youth identity and subjectivity, transnational mobilities, relations of power and inequality, and the
intersections between these areas.
Damian Collins is Associate Professor of Human Geography at the
University of Alberta. He has a long-standing interest in the place of
children in public policy debates.
Luke Dickens is a research associate at the Open University. His
research develops critical understandings of the relationships between

Notes on Contributors


young people’s cultural practices and social identity formation, and the
complex, unequal socio-spatial dynamics of the cultural economy.
Tom Disney is a doctoral researcher in the School of Geography, Earth
and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Since
2005 he has worked with a number of different NGOs involved in
orphan care in Russia.
Louise Holt is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Loughborough
University. Her research interests as a critical social and cultural geographer focus upon exploring how enduring inequalities are reproduced
and/or transformed at a variety of intersecting spatial scales and in the
ways in which everyday, bodily practices in specific spaces/places are
connected to, reproduce and can potentially transform broader-scale
Kathrin Hörschelmann is a research associate at the Leibniz-Institute
for Regional Geography in Leipzig, whose work focuses on post-socialist
transformations, gender, social inequalities, critical geopolitics, and the
political and cultural geographies of children and youth. Her publications in the area of young people’s geographies include a co-authored
monograph on Children, Youth and the City and a co-edited collection on
Contested Bodies of Childhood and Youth.
Petra Hricová is a psychologist, community and youth worker, active
in detached youth work since 2003. She is the coordinator of the
Kopˇcany Community Centre in Bratislava, the chair of the Association
of Low-Threshold Programmes for Children and Youth in Slovakia and
a national representative of Slovakia in Dynamo International – Street
Workers Network.
Pascale Joassart-Marcelli is Associate Professor of Geography at San
Diego State University. Her research focuses on the role of place and
space in shaping immigrant integration, belonging and citizenship,
with a particular interest in the everyday lives of immigrant children
and families and the spatial and emotional relationships surrounding
Peter Kraftl is Professor of Human Geography at the University of
Birmingham. His research interests focus on children’s geographies,
geographies of mainstream and alternative education, and architecture.

xiv Notes on Contributors

Recently, he authored Geographies of Alternative Education and, with
Sarah Mills, Informal Education, Childhood and Youth.
Jennifer Lea is Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of
Exeter. She has research interests in embodied practices, spiritualities,
and the production and expression of differences related to disability
and mental health.
Douglas Lonie is a research consultant at BOP Consulting, working
across many projects exploring the social impact of cultural policy. Prior
to this, he was research and evaluation manager for the National Foundation for Youth Music, managing the charity’s evaluation and research
projects and establishing the impact of distributed funds.
Anoop Nayak is Head of Geography at Newcastle University. He is Professor of Social & Cultural Geography and the author/co-author of Race,
Place and Globalization: Youth Cultures in a Changing World (2003), Geographical Thought: An Introduction to Ideas in Human Geography (2011) and
Gender, Youth and Culture: Global Masculinities and Femininities (2013, 2nd
Tamasine Preece is Head of Personal and Social Education at a secondary school in Bridgend, Wales. She holds a PhD from Swansea
University (2014) and consults for a number of private and public agencies on the subjects of social media, self-harm, suicide, sexual health and
substance misuse.
Lisa Procter is Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the School of
Education, University of Sheffield. Her work explores the relationships
between emotion and place in children’s meaning-making.
Noora Pyyry is finalising her PhD thesis on teenage girls’ hanging out
at the Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki. She is
interested in youth participation, everyday politics and learning ‘with’
urban spaces.
Morgan Tymko holds an MA in human geography from the University
of Alberta (2013). The results reported in her chapter in this book stem
from her thesis research.
Daryl van Blerk is a registered practitioner psychologist in the UK. He
previously worked in South Africa at a youth offending residency, and

Notes on Contributors


as a result had the opportunity to work with street children and youth.
He is trained in, and has extensive experience of, offering therapeutic
interventions to children and youth.
Lorraine van Blerk is Reader in Human Geography at the University
of Dundee. She has published widely on issues affecting street children
and youth and is Chair of the Consortium for Street Children Research
Expert Forum. She is the co-editor of Doing Children’s Geographies and
co-author of Children, Youth and Cities.
Sarah Wilson is a senior lecturer at the University of Stirling, Scotland,
and an associate director of the Centre for Research on Families and
Relationships (CRFR).
Bronwyn E. Wood is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Victoria
University of Wellington. Her research interests lie at the intersection
of education, sociology and geography. She has a particular interest in
young people’s experiences and expressions of belonging, identity, place
and citizenship participation.

Highlights for Policy and Practice
The stressful nature of institutional care environments might mean
that staff fail to handle cases of abuse properly.
(In Chapter 2, Tom Disney draws on his research in Russian orphanages
and argues that even if dysfunctional provisions of care are unlikely to
undergo a systemic transformation, implementing urgent, micro-scale
changes to the emotional wellbeing of carers, volunteers and clients will
enhance the quality of care.)
Risk assessments addressing emotional impacts are necessary for
all decisions affecting children and their families in emergency
(In Chapter 3, Harriot Beazley explores the emotional impact of placing
children in care after the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia and
critiques the policies that prioritise institutional care over supporting
children’s families.)
Young people might benefit from emotional autonomy as an element of the professional provision for coping with difficult family
(In Chapter 4, Sarah Wilson shows that young people might experience parents’ substance misuse differently from professionals and that
they consequently benefit from relationships with practitioners that are
developed on their own terms and at their own pace.)
Public debates on children’s wellbeing can be overtly emotionally
charged, yet fail to address children’s own embodied and emotional
(In Chapter 5, Damian Collins and Morgan Tymko use the example of
smoking in cars to demonstrate that, not having their concerns heard by
adults, children may develop strategies of resistance but still experience
discontent about being excluded from policy-making.)
Children’s participation in policy-making is motivated by adults’
emotions about children and administered through symbolic

Highlights for Policy and Practice


gestures and disciplining of children’s emotions, rather than
transformative, emotionally attentive partnerships.
(In Chapter 6, Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J. Bosco critique
approaches to planning that fail to recognise the often contradictory
and unpredictable nature of emotions and privilege certain emotional
responses over children’s own perspectives.)
Connecting spaces of formal education and young people’s own
everyday realms creates an emotional dynamics in which young
people find learning important, meaningful and safe.
(In Chapter 7, Noora Pyyry investigates how young people learn about
their surroundings through hanging out in atmospheres of friendship,
producing new understandings of the familiar and developing new
emotional attitudes to learning.)
Young people marginalised by media and policy depictions of
poverty and periphery identify and dis-identify with these images
through powerful emotional mechanisms involving social affinity,
care and aspirations.
(In Chapter 8, Anoop Nayak illustrates how the contrasting use of terms
such as ‘Chav’ includes the perpetuation of myths about the urban poor,
on the one hand, and young people’s tools for emotional coping with
psychosocial experiences of abjection, on the other.)
Virtual spaces gain more importance in the lives of young people
as they provide them with distinctive emotional resources, largely
misinterpreted by adults.
(In Chapter 9, Tamasine Preece employs a psychoanalytical perspective
to theorise young people’s self-abuse in online spaces as an attempt to
elicit an emotional response in others.)
Interventions with marginalised youth entail certain degrees of
emotional governance, yet young people’s adoption of these efforts
might resist the idealised conception of neoliberal subjects.
(In Chapter 10, Ruth Cheung Judge explores volunteering trips of
young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in London to SubSaharan Africa, arguing that young people’s emotional responses might
be ambivalent and discomforting, as they are embedded in power and
injustice relations in both global and local contexts.)

xviii Highlights for Policy and Practice

Given the importance and intricacy of young people’s emotional
responses to professional interventions, policy needs to be led by
(In Chapter 11, Douglas Lonie and Luke Dickens analyse the process
and architecture of non-formal music education, suggesting that emotional responses and developments are yet to be acknowledged in
policy-making to the same level as instrumental functions and targeted
For many vulnerable young people lacking access to provisions
of psychological support, encounters with social researchers might
become gateways to therapeutic interventions.
(In Chapter 12, Lorraine van Blerk and Daryl van Blerk discuss their
collaborative work with street youth in South Africa, showing how
engagements between researchers and therapeutic practitioners build
on initial research encounters with young people with past traumatic
events to offer further and more targeted mental health support.)
Handling the presence and role of young people’s emotions and
developing relationships on young people’s own terms might be as
important as diagnosing what young people actually feel.
(In Chapter 13, Matej Blazek and Petra Hricová draw on perspectives
from detached youth work and argue that efforts to fully understand
young people’s emotions often reinforce adult-centric constructions of
childhood and subjugate young people to adult politics of space.)
Children’s multi-sensory engagement with a diversity of spaces
shapes their meaning-making and intersects with their perception
of formal curriculum.
(In Chapter 14, Lisa Procter investigates the impact of children’s embodied presence in outdoor green spaces, not just on sustainability education but also on wider opportunities offered by place-based practices for
learning about the world and themselves.)
Some young people experience the difference in accessing mainstream schools as an embodied condition.
(In Chapter 15, Jennifer Lea, Sophie Bowlby and Louise Holt consider the
use of restorative justice approaches in schools to address Behavioural,

Highlights for Policy and Practice


Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD), arguing that young people
referred to special units might experience the distancing created by such
arrangements as very hard to surmount.)
Citizenship education requires young people to foster only acceptable forms of emotions that foreground compliance, empathy and
(In Chapter 16, Bronwyn Wood explores policies and educational programmes on active citizenship in New Zealand, demonstrating how
they implicitly require certain emotional responses from young people and either overlook or suppress the wider range of multiple and
dynamic emotions experienced by young people in the context of power
inequalities in schools.)
Should children be sheltered from some aspects of politics? Who
should carry the responsibility?
(In Chapter 17, Kathrin Hörschelmann analyses depictions of children
in relation to war and military politics, suggesting that there are interferences between discourses on childhood, citizenship and warfare, and
raising questions about the wider political responsibility for education
and peace promotion.)

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