Strengthening ‘community’? an ethnographic and auto/biographical study of Sure Start Greendale

Rehal, M. (2016) Strengthening ‘community’? an ethnographic and auto/biographical study of Sure Start Greendale. Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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This is an ethnographic, auto/biographical study of Sure Start Greendale which is situated on the outskirts of a seaside town in the south east of England. I undertook the research while I was Director of the programme. The thesis is written from the perspective of key participants in the programme, as well as my own learning biography, background in health visiting and practice as leader of a new high profile government initiative called Sure Start. It is highly reflexive and written in a narrative genre.

Sure Start aims to give young children living in communities similar to Greendale a better start in life by creating opportunities for them and their parents and by eradicating child poverty. This research explores, through auto/biographical and focus group interviews with parents, community workers and representatives from partner agencies, perspectives of the Greendale area prior to Sure Start, the impact of the Sure Start programme and the new building, and their notions of community prior to and post the establishment of the Sure Start programme. The voices of parents, community workers and partner agencies are heard through an interpretative, analytical approach in a process of shared learning. Issues relating to insider research are discussed in detail. Auto/biographical interviews indicate the challenges of partnership working, the impact of poverty on children and their parents, and the complex ways in which Sure Start helped to renew a sense of community.

The main finding of the research was that the Sure Start Greendale programme was able to engage to varying degrees a suspicious and sceptical community and support parents to access services and develop relationships with other parents. Sure Start Greendale was the enabler of communication in the estate and the community workers played a major role in building social capital and reducing social isolation. This research is important as it is the only ethnographic, auto/biographical, insider researcher’s account of a Sure Start Programme, covering a period of eight years. The study adds to the body of knowledge about Greendale and similar communities and factors that assist community renewal.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139.2 Early childhood education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0980 Types of education > LC1036 Community education
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Miss Rosemary Cox
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2018 08:48
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2018 12:30

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00