Gender, Youth, Community, Methodology and More:

A Symposium Celebrating the Life and Work of Pearl Jephcott

College Court Conference Centre

University of Leicester

July 9th 2015

Pearl Jephcott (1900-1980), in a research career spanning some forty years, made an outstanding contribution to British social science research. Her key works, including Girls Growing Up (1942), Rising Twenty (1948), Some Young People (1954), Married Women Working (1962), A Troubled Area: Notes on Notting Hill (1964), Time of One’s Own (1967) and Homes in High Flats (1971), alongside other reports and articles, paved the way for many of the subsequent developments that were to come in the sociology of gender, women’s’ studies, urban sociology, leisure studies and the sociology of youth. Moreover her work is fascinating as it is very detailed, extensive, methodologically sophisticated and is replete with originality, innovation and sociological imagination. Yet despite this Jephcott’s work has become neglected and relegated to second hand booksellers and ‘studies from the past’. Her legacy deserves more attention and should be more widely celebrated. This free one-day symposium attempts to do just that.

Bringing together researcher from a range of fields, this one-day symposium offers academics and postgraduate students the opportunity to learn more about recent research that revisits and builds upon the work of this social research pioneer. The day represents a unique chance for a dialogue around Pearl’s legacy and to hear how subsequent researchers have extended the rich vein of research she began in the 1940s. Pearl’s legacy cuts across disciplines and research paradigms: across social sciences and humanities, historical and contemporary data, primary and secondary sources, quantitative and qualitative approaches and, as such, we envisage this event will appeal to a wide audience.

This is a free conference with lunch included but pre-registration is required as places are limited.

9:30                Registration and Coffee

9.50                Introduction and Welcome.

10.00              Pearl Jephcott: Biographical Starting Points,

John Goodwin and Henrietta O’Connor, (University of Leicester)

10:30             Pearl Jephcott and Feminist Collaborative Research Practice

Lynn Abrams (University of Glasgow)

11:00              TEA BREAK

11:30              Pearl Jephcott, Married Women Working and the Sociology of Women in post-war Britain

Helen McCarthy (Queen Mary University of London)

12:00              (Re)Imagining Pearl Jephcott’s ‘Time of One’s Own’: Methodological challenges and theoretical insights from a comparative study of youth leisure and social change

Susan Batchelor and Lisa Whittaker, University of Glasgow

Alistair Fraser, University of Hong Kong (in absentia)

12.30              Revisiting ‘Homes in High Flats’: Its inception and Jephcott’s methodology in practice

Barry Hazley and Valerie Wright (University of Glasgow)

1pm – 2pm    LUNCH

14:00              The Early Years

Tony Jeffs (Durham University)

14.15              Jephcott, Bermondsey and the Anthropologists in 1958

Jon Lawrence (University of Cambridge)

14.30             From Nottingham to Notting Hill: Explorations of Delinquency

John Goodwin and Henrietta O’Connor, (University of Leicester)

15:00                         TEA BREAK

15.30             Round Table Discussion: What Next for Pearl Jephcott?

 

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Revisiting Norbert Elias’s Sociology of Community

We have a longstanding interest in Elias’s sociology of community. Here are a couple of links to papers that we have contribution to/written on this subject. The first is Angela Perulli’s Italian translation of Towards a Theory of Communities (1974) that contains some introductory notes on the original essay by John Goodwin. The second is paper by Henrietta O’Connor and John Goodwin exploring the ‘community restudies’ they are involved in.

Verso una teoria delle comunità (2013)

http://www.cambio.unifi.it/upload/sub/Numero6/16_Elias.pdf

Revisiting Norbert Elias’s Sociology of Community: Learning from the Leicester Re-Studies (2012) – O’Connor and Goodwin
Abstract: Since 2001 we have been engaged in a re-study of three linked Leicester projects: The Employment of Married Women in a Leicester Factory (1959–1962), The Adjustment of Young Workers to Work Situations and Adult Roles (1962–1964) and The Established and the Outsiders (1965). The three projects contain a number of striking overlaps, not least Elias’s formulation of communities as figurations through which communal behavioural standards are established, learned and maintained. Whether in the different Zones of Winston Parva, or in the large hosiery factories of Leicester, people learned the self-control of drives and affects ‘according to the pattern and extent of socially given drive and affect regulation’ of that time and that community. In this paper we outline the background to the three re-studies and link them to Elias’s work on community and the broader canon of community studies. We then consider methodological lessons learnt from our re-studies – in particular, the practical process of re-studies, the definitional problems of what constitutes a re-study, and the value of visual images and walking the field. We conclude by reflecting upon the analytical promise of community re-studies.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2012.02095.x/abstract

A Gun, a widow and thinking in ‘the field’!

UK YOUTH RESEARCH

by Sarah Hadfield

Twitter Signature logo@Sarah_h5

photo-3 This blog post is inspired by some reflexivity of some field research I conducted for another research project early on in my research career. This research was on a topic aligned with ‘The making of the precariat’, but the research methods are superficially different. My research is qualitative; ‘The making of the precariat’ is quantitative, making use of 1980s historical questionnaire data. From my own qualitative data collection experiences, I have found that ethical issues and the realities of field research in both projects have similarities although conducted in different times for different purposes.

As presented in the literature, the process of data collection, ethical issues and what is needed for preparation is not too far removed from the reality. However, for myself, what was, was the reality of the anxieties that came after the interviews had ended. This is because seemingly simple questions can…

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Pearl Jephcott: The Legacy of a Forgotten Sociological Research Pioneer

Our paper on the legacy of Pearl Jephcott is available online first:

http://soc.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/05/22/0038038514530536.abstract

Abstract
While the lives and works of many sociologists have now been well documented, numerous sociologists at the ‘coal face’ of social research remain ignored. Consequently, beyond the contributions of those more ‘well-known’ scholars, considerably more needs to be done to examine the history of our discipline and reassess the significant contributions made by ‘other’ researchers so that we may reappraise what can be learnt from these ‘pioneer scholars’. In this article we focus on Pearl Jephcott (1900–1980), who in a research career spanning 40 years, but now largely forgotten, was at the forefront of methodological innovation in the 1960s. We offer an introduction to her work, focusing on questions such as why were her methods innovative and why is she now ignored within sociology?