Childhood narratives: adult reflections on encounters with difference in everyday spaces

Catherine Harris, Gill Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Research on children and young people commonly focuses on the present experiences of childhood. Yet Philo, C. [2003. “‘To Go Back up the Side Hill’: Memories, Imaginations and Reveries of Childhood.” Children's Geographies 1 (1): 7–24] has argued that we might also access the ‘worlds’ of children and childhood through the memories or recollections of adults, given that we have all been children once. In response, this paper explores the narratives of adults reflecting on their childhood experiences and in particular, on the formation of their attitudes towards difference. The paper offers a means of understanding how adults reflect on their childhood encounters with difference, how their attitudes towards difference are developed over time and the extent to which these childhood narratives are carried into adult lives. This is not to suggest that early experiences are deterministic. Rather, individuals can reflect on their own lives and encounters and choose to change or react to wider social relations in new ways such that they produce and embody new dispositions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-516
Number of pages12
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Children's Geographies on 01/01/2017, available online:


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