The grant will provide funding for a new project entitled: Revisiting ‘Blair’s Babies’ in new times: contemporary female subjectivities from New Labour to the Coalition.
This project will build on Kim’s current work on aspirations, youth transitions and neoliberalism (Celebrity and Youth), and longstanding interest in configurations of young womanhood in the contemporary.
Specifically it will see Kim return to interview some of the young women who took part in her ARHC- funded doctoral research who, aged 16-18, were engaged in further education provision in the performing arts and contemplating their futures under New Labour. Revisiting them in their mid-twenties, this project will trace their transitions and experiences of education, work and motherhood, and the significance of class, gender and race to shaping these. The grant facilitates a unique longitudinal insight into how contemporary young womanhood is negotiated and understood over time. Returning to a group of women who can be understood as ‘Blair’s Babies’, now living under the Coalition and in an age of austerity, the research will reflect on the continuities and shifts in the conditions of young womanhood under two political and economic regimes. In doing so it responds to recent calls for new research attending to how changing socio-political contexts shape the positioning of young women in contemporary Britain.