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School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Carl Bagley

Bagley, C. & Ackerley, C.L. (2006). 'I am much more than just a mum'. Social capital, empowerment and Sure Start. Journal of Education Policy 21(6): 717-734.

Author(s) from Durham


An earlier article published in this journal sought to recover the views of professionals concerned with the delivery and implementation of a 'Third Way' multiagency programme tackling the social exclusion of young children and their families known as Sure Start. The tentative findings suggested a 'bottom-up' partnership perspective was held by professionals as they engaged in a process of 'civic entrepreneurship' to build social capital within the local community. This article tells a further part of that story as through qualitative data it recovers the views of local parents involved with the programme. The findings are important as they suggest a meaningful change in the power relationship between parents and professionals. The parents report how the project built holistically on existing strengths within the community, how professionals valued, listened to, and acted on their views, how the project changed them personally, and how collectively they became increasingly involved with the programme and empowered in the social capital building process. The concluding discussion draws on the work of Granovetter (1973) on social capital and Zimmersman (1995) on empowerment to theoretically locate and discuss the findings.