Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

Remembering the past in anticipation of the future: Adult accounts of 'non-normative; childhoods

One of the insights from narrative analysis is that narratives serve to align the past, present and the future. It follows from this that the stories we tell about ourselves and our lives are more complex than concerns only with truth and memory would suggest.

This talk uses interview accounts from adults who have had what some would consider ‘non-normative’ childhoods to examine the ways in which their accounts serve to construct them as adults living what Judith Butler calls ‘livable lives’. It also looks at how producing such accounts is a means to claim recognition for their histories, even as they frequently reconstruct the norm in relation to family lives and individualise claims to recognition. The study that informs the talk focuses mainly on adults who, as children, were left in the Caribbean by their parent(s) and later joined them in Britain in the process of serial migration. It may also draw on research with adults who grew up in visibly ethnically different households and those who were language brokers for their parents. These studies are just under way so analyses are preliminary, but fruitful for discussion of these issues.


Professor Ann Phoenix | talks


Date and Time:

14 November 2007 at 3:30 pm





Birkbeck Institute for Social Research
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
020 3073 8363

More at Birkbeck Institute for Social Research...



Free - all welcome

Available from:

Additional Information:

Room B29 Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street.

Ann Phoenix is Co-Director of the Thomas Coram Research Unit at the Institute of Education and also currently holds an ESRC Professorial Fellowship to do a programme of work on ‘Transforming Experiences: Re-conceptualising identities and 'non-normative' childhoods’. She was previously Professor of Social and Developmental Psychology at the Open University. Her research interests include motherhood, social identities and young people (including those of 'race', ethnicity and gender). Her most recently completed ESRC-funded projects were on masculinities in 11-14 year old boys (with Stephen Frosh, Birkbeck College and Rob Pattman, Open University) and young people and consumption with Chris Griffin (Birmingham University) and Rosaleen Croghan (Open University). She has two currently funded ESRC projects: ‘Identities in process: Becoming Bangladeshi, African Caribbean and white mothers’ with Wendy Hollway and an ESRC Professorial Fellowship for a programme of work on ‘Transforming Experiences: Re-conceptualising identities and 'non-normative' childhoods’.

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund