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Ethnicity, Policy and Teenage Parenthood in England: Findings from a Qualitative Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2008

Jenny Owen
Affiliation:
School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield E-mail j.m.owen@sheffield.ac.uk
Gina M A Higginbottom
Affiliation:
Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Canada
Mavis Kirkham
Affiliation:
Centre for Health and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University
Nigel Mathers
Affiliation:
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield
Peter Marsh
Affiliation:
Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield

Abstract

Ethnicity and racialised identity have been salient themes in USA research and policy on teenage parenthood, in contrast with the UK context. This article presents findings from interviews with professionals in support services for young parents, with three main conclusions. Firstly, appropriate data collection systems are not in place to establish whether minority young parents face specific barriers in accessing services. Secondly, professionals’ accounts converge with young parents’ accounts, emphasising age rather than ethnicity as shaping patterns of identification and stigmatisation. Lastly, professional ‘ecologies of practice’ exist in some tension with the homogenising emphasis of UK national policy discourses.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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