The primary purpose of the Children, Young People and Family Research Centre is to be able to respond to rapid changes within research culture, at regional, national and international levels, by grounding it within the wide range of theoretical, policy and methodological perspectives made available across Newman University.
The work of the Centre contributes toward the generation of a wider strategic plan aimed at promoting innovatory research activities locally, nationally and internationally. Centre staff work with community organisations, schools, children’s services, third sector organisations and public bodies, both in the UK and abroad. Evidence gained from such research directly contributes towards improving services, support change management processes and challenging dominant representations of family and community life. The work of the Centre is committed to the creation and translation of knowledge and understanding of children, young people and families. In particular, it has a vision of facilitating intellectual leadership to local, national and international academic and ‘public’ communities. It is also committed to the engagement of users including government, national organisations, the third sector and local communities by providing strategic intervention in the generation of knowledge and understanding. Hence, the main research themes include exploring emerging questions around:
- The shifting conceptual understanding of the contested terms, children, young people and family within the context of contemporary global socio-economic and cultural change.
- Recalibrating the relationship between social/cultural researchers and diverse social groups through the use of digital media.
- The historicising of the issues in this field of inquiry, interrogating the complexity of contested concepts and vocabulary of children, young people and family and exploring these through substantive interests, including identity formations.
- Shifting comparative patterns of policy making and implementation across Britain, Europe, the US and its impact on global regions.
- The development of understandings of the diverse meanings and value systems of family and community life among social groups that will be of value to those working in the public sector and local authorities and more broadly those working towards the promotion of an equal society.
- The role of structural inequality in access to societal resources in influencing or shaping the structure and social capital of diverse families and communities.