Supervisor: Dr Siân Pooley
Childhood experiences of disability and specialist provision in England, c. 1918-1970.
My research examines the lived impact of state policy-making and institutionalised care practices for people growing up with disabilities in mid-twentieth-century England. During this period, specialist schooling and professional care was being developed for increasing numbers of children, identified as ‘handicapped’ or ‘defective’ by virtue of being beyond ‘normal provision’. Innovatively, my research seeks to tell this story of professionalization and institutionalisation from the perspectives of children themselves. My project will examine the lived experiences of children growing up in specialist institutions. I then combine this archival evidence with an oral history project which will explore people's experiences of transitioning into specialist institutions and residential schooling. Weaving together archival evidence and oral history testimonies, people’s reflections on how they thought of their identity – as disabled or otherwise – and how this changed across their life course will further reveal the impact of specialist provision.
My project is funded by the Calleva Foundation and forms part of the collaborative and interdisciplinary research project: 'Changing Lives: childhood experience, cumulative risk, and supportive environments across the life course'.
Before starting my DPhil I completed a funded MSt in British and European History at Oxford.
A short piece for the History @ Oxford blog about studying with disabilities: https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/article/sam-mccormack#/
A short piece about a small section of my research, written as part of my role as a Graduate Outreach Tutor: https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/children-challenging-educational-inequality...