Research Project

Child's Play? Growing Up in State Care in 1980s Hungary
Recent major scandals of historic abuse in children’s homes provide a disconcerting account of the everyday dynamics in many institutes and of the unhappiness of residents. While many aspects of the history of child welfare and institutional structures have been noted and discussed, experiences in care themselves have received less academic attention.  My PhD project aims to move on the frame of reference in which this debate takes place. Rather than starting with the idea of children’s homes as isolating total institutions in Goffman’s sense, it looks at the community in which children in care move. I analyse the intersection between discipline and violence in children’s homes and the school; the relationship between the parent home and the state home; and Roma identity in care and a seemingly different identity in school. My core empirics are interviews with male care leavers, who spent all or some of the 1980s in a children’s home(s) in Hungary.
Research Proposal: PDF icon Research_Rasell.pdf