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Title: The writing on the wall : (accessing) children's meanings of land in the Outer Hebrides at the beginning of the 21st century
Author: Thomson, Fionagh
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 7876
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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In 1990 the United Nations Convention of the rights of the child recognised children as a minority group, social actors with a right to be heard. In parallel, interest in children's voices increased within academia. TIlls research adds to current work witllin children's geograpllles, through an exploratory case study in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, with a group of children (6 to 12 years old). Based on a series of workshops, participants were invited to become artists-inresidence on the theme of land within their everyday lives. Tllls thesis set two substantive questions: what are participants' meanings of land in the Outer Hebrides and how do these meanings relate to current theories around human's relationship with land? Findings sho'.'.'eo that meanings of land were not uniform though meanings embodied movement through daily lives, creating a sense of self and 'belonging' Participams were nor controlled excessively by adult narratives of stranger-danger but by the physical topography, wlllch mirrored many inhabitants' experiences. Participant's meanings of land are understood through two theories of human's relationslllp with land. First, Ingold's phenomenological concept of landscape as dwelling, recognising the influence of past generations (walking the land tending sheep), and more 'modern' activities, (watching soap operas at home). Second, Massey's concept of progressive sense of place, recognising the influence of wider social forces and explains an everyday land inhabited by a Bengal tiger. Tllls research has a number of original contributions. First, this research increases knowledge on an under researched part of the Scottish Islands around inhabitants everyday lives and land. Second, a third, and methodological, research question explored the debate: is doing research with children different from doing research with adults? Here I argue that pre-labelling any participants by social identities contradicts the bottom-up approach of participatory methodologies (Thomson, 2007), as identities are multiple and are something we do not have. Tllls flnal issues aims to address the narrow readerslllp within children's geograpllles and persmde all researcbers to uo longer yjew the 'chjld' as 'other' to the adult and outside mainstream social research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available