Poverty or Rights, Closing the Gap Between Rights and Realities in Children’s Live

Poverty or rights, closing the gap between rights and realities in children’s lives

MA Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights
Jonathan Hanna

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Poverty or rights, closing the gap between rights and realities in children’s lives.


This dissertation examines the interrelationship between children’s rights and child poverty in the UK. Children’s rights have become a significant field of study in the past two decades, following the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989. Similarly child poverty has taken a central role in policy debates as it becomes a central signifier of effective welfare and social mobility. However the literature of rights and poverty are not aligned . This dissertation proposes such an alignment through focussing on child poverty whilst expanding the definition of child poverty to be about power, rather than strict income based measures.

Although addressing adult outcomes is an essential part of tackling poverty in childhood, it is the contention of this dissertation that we also develop a deeper, more meaningful awareness and understanding of the everyday realities of childhood poverty. This should be grounded in children’s own experiences and meanings. This is why an absolute focus on poverty is a fundamental precept to any narrative about rights.

The dissertation is in 5 parts, the introduction sets out the core hypothesises and the structure that will be used; the literature review examines how and why poverty and rights have been conceptualised in the dominant narratives. The dissertation then moves to examine primary research, setting out the methods used to engage groups of young people in their understandings of poverty and rights before analysing and discussing these. Finally conclusions are drawn which suggest a reduction of child...