Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group (GCYFRG) – Dissertation Prize 2018

The Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group are delighted to announce the winners of our 2018 RGS/IBG Undergraduate Dissertation Prize.  Once again, the submissions were of an excellent standard that show innovation, theoretical development and critical thinking in research on the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families. We received a number of high quality dissertations and this year was possibly the closest to call. After moderation, we decided to award joint first place to:

Charlotte Johnson `Child-friendly Coffee Shops: a `Space of Wellbeing’ for Mothers with Young Children’ (University of Durham)

Emma Barnstable ‘Facing Uncertainty in a Global 100 Institution? Exploring students’ negotiation of the transition beyond Higher Education’ (University of Exeter)

Both dissertations demonstrated originality, competence in design and execution of research, and sophisticated analysis and interpretation. In the end, the judging panel could not separate the dissertations and so we decided that joint winners was the most appropriate outcome.

Both Charlotte and Emma will each receive £75 and a year’s subscription to the Children’s Geographies journal.

We thank all of those who submitted an entry and congratulate the two winners.



Previous winners include:


1st prize: Alexandra Hayes ‘I don’t like doing the things that girls do.  I like doing the things that boys do: The characterisation of tomboyism and the construction of gendered geographies of adventure within children’s literature’ (University of Sheffield).

2nd Prize: Lucie Hughes ‘Disrupting the Silence: Exploring how young people experience domestic abuse in their everyday lives’ (Durham University).


1st prize: Moa Eriksson ‘A feminist poststructuralist analysis of how gender is constructed in a nursery context in Brighton‘ (University of Brighton).

2nd Prize: Louise Williams ‘Childhood in Crisis? Young people performing liminal P/politics at Forest School’ (University of Oxford).


1st prize:  Lucy Long, ‘Sex, secrecy and stigma: Negotiating youth in a context of HIV/AIDS’ (University of Oxford)

2nd Prize:  Rosanna Betts, ‘Dreams of a Bright Future; A case study exploring the future aspirations of street children in Kampala’ (Durham University)


1st prize: Emma Hutchings, University of St Andrew’s, ‘The Spectacle of Child Suffering: Save the Children and UNICEF,  Annual Reports 1970-2012’.

2nd Prize: Annie Robinson, University of Leeds, ‘Between Two Worlds? Conceptualising Families’ Experiences of the Liminal Space of The Visitors’ Centre at HMP Leeds’.


1st prize: Matthew Pink, Durham University, ‘Diasporic youth: investigating the performative construction of identity for Polish migrant youths in Consett, England’.

2nd Prize: Matthew Finn, University of Reading, ‘Youth and International Travel: Changing Perceptions and Everyday Practices’.


1st prize: April McCoig, Royal Holloway, University of London ‘‘I want to go to university and make lots of money. Then I can give some to Fairtrade and some to my family’: Children’s Perceptions of Fairtrade’.

2nd prize: Lucy Alliot, Durham University, ‘Liquid Life Paths and Elderly Chinese Migrants: Negotiating Identity in Relation to the Family’.


1st Prize: Sophie Wotton, Durham University, ‘Distant Others: Exploring the child’s perspective in a school partnership programme’

2nd Prize: Laura Dean, University of Oxford ‘Reach for the Stars? Exploring the future career aspirations of young women in Calgary, Canada’.


1st Prize: Amira Binte Abdul Rahim, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, ‘Relocating Madrasah Al-Maarif: Exploring senses of place, emotional geographies and the role of Facebook.’

2nd Prize: Jonathan Hunter, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, ‘An investigation into the experiences of disabled and non-disabled students in relation to their social transitions throughout university’.


1st Prize: Bethan Siu Yin Thomas, School of Geography, University of Nottingham ‘Diaspora space: the changing nature of Woking Chinese School’.

2nd Prize: Deborah Puttick, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Plymouth ‘Sacred Place on the Catholic World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Sydney 2008’.


1st Prize: Jessica Mayer, Department of Geography, Lancaster University “Have they gone bonkers? They’ve banned us playing conkers!”. The changing geographies of the primary school playground’

2nd Prize: Tom Rutherford, Department of Geography, UCL ‘Questioning the country childhood idyll: parenting and children’s safety in three Kentish villages’.