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Pushed to the edgeInclusion and behaviour support in schools$
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Val Gillies

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447317463

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447317463.001.0001

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‘Yo momma …’: foregrounding families

‘Yo momma …’: foregrounding families

(p.123) Six ‘Yo momma …’: foregrounding families
Pushed to the edge

Val Gillies

Policy Press

This chapter explores how the prevailing psychologisation of challenging behaviour relies on a construction of inadequate parenting. Home life was cited by teachers’ to make sense of conflict in the classroom and was viewed as an influence to be countered and compensated for through an active process of ‘inclusion’. Accusations of bad parenting will be traced back to specific examples to emphasise the gap between institutional assumptions about family life and everyday lived experience. Attention will be drawn to the often invisible labour parents undertook to address their children’s problems and way particular challenges (poverty, insecurity, homelessness, ill health etc.) shaped and limited school engagement. The chapter will also address the central importance of family to the young people attending behaviour support units. No other theme in the research aroused as much passion or pride. Young men in particular experienced relationships with their mothers as intensely personal and precious and were highly sensitive and protective about their family relationships. The chapter addresses the contradictions and often volatile tensions associated with the invocation of family in a classroom setting and the problematic place home occupies in the current inclusion agenda.

Keywords:   Mothering, Parenting, Family

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