Childhood and adolescence researchers awarded honorary doctorates

15 October 2015

Professor Emeritus William Corsaro, Indiana, and Professor Jane Humphries, Oxford, have been given honorary doctorates by the Faculty of Educational Sciences at Uppsala University.

William Corsaro, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology, Indiana University, USA, is a world-leading researcher in the field of childhood sociology who has radically changed our understanding of children’s perspective and participation in socialisation practices in preschool, elementary school and as part of family life. During the 1980’s, long before childhood research was established as a distinct field, he conducted ethnographic field work in American preschools where he observed how children form peer cultures. Since then, Corsaro has conducted fieldwork on numerous occasions in preschools both in the US and in Italiy, where he has studied how children are prepared for the start of term in different ways. His micro-ethnographic approach and his theoretical terminology are still used by many researchers in the educational sciences and social sciences with an interest in the socialisation, learning and cultural practices of children. His book ‘The Sociology of Childhood’ (2014, reprinted for the fourth time) shows the breadth of the research tradition he played a large part in developing.

Jane Humphries is Professor of Economic History at the University of Oxford (All Souls College). She has spent the majority of her professional life both researching and giving lectures on the social and economic history of families, children and adolescents. Over the past few years, she has focused on how children experience their upbringing and school. Furthermore, she has also analysed the relationship between mass education and industrial economies, as well as families and social reproduction. With her book ‘Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution’ (2010), she revolutionised our knowledge of how working-class children experienced the industrial revolution. Humphries has also sought to actively disseminate her research to the public. For instance, the aforementioned book was the basis for the celebrated and award-winning BBC series ‘The Children Who Built Victorian Britain’, which Humphries wrote, produced and starred in.