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Unfolding livesYouth, gender and change$
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Rachel Thomson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420510

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420510.001.0001

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Going up! Discipline and opportunism

Going up! Discipline and opportunism

(p.45) Four Going up! Discipline and opportunism
Unfolding lives

Rachel Thomson

Policy Press

This chapter explores the account of Sherleen, a second-generation British of African Caribbean descent and the only child of a single mother living in the inner-city of London. Sherleen was interviewed four times between the ages of 13 and 16. The narratives in the chapter are not presented in a singular chronological story; rather they are presented as series of partial narratives, each of which captures a field and part of Sherleen's existence, particularly those that concern education, family, and leisure. These fields, which represent the spaces through which Sherleen's project is constructed, gave rise to the narrative threads of a wider biography. In social policy terms, Sherleen is understood as ‘achieving against the odds’, and her story provides insights into some of the intimate and familial processes involved in the educational success of young black British women.

Keywords:   Sherleen, education, family, leisure, black British women, familial processes, educational success

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