School of Education Research Staff Profile

Dr Jane O'Connor

Dr Jane Connor
Name Dr Jane O'Connor
Title

Senior Lecturer

Research Fellow

Research group Member: Childhood & Early Years Research Cluster; Developing Pedagogy Research Cluster 
Tel  01902 328415
E-mail Jane.O'Connor@wlv.ac.uk

Developmental work and research activity

Jane O’Connor is a senior lecturer and research fellow in Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. Her background is in education and she worked as a primary school teacher before entering academia. She completed her doctorate at Brunel University and her thesis on child stardom formed the basis of her first book which was published by Routledge in 2008.

Her research interests lie with representations of children in the media, especially ‘exceptional’ children and child stars. She is also interested in very young children’s use of technology and cultural discourses around childhood.

Key and recent publications and materials developed

  • O’Connor J & McDougall J (2013, forthcoming) ‘Orphans and Rich People’: A Critical Analysis of the ‘Children’s Lives’ Exhibition in Birmingham, UK. Children & Society.
  • O’Connor J (2013, forthcoming) ‘Children and Media’ in Waller T (ed) 'An Introduction to Early Childhood 3rd Edition'. London: SAGE.
  • O’Connor J  (2013, forthcoming) ‘The myth of ‘toxic childhood’’ in McDougall J & Bennett P (eds) (2013) Myth Today (and Together): Theory under Reconstruction. London: Routledge.
  • O’Connor J (2010) ‘Is it good to be gifted? The construction of gifted children in the British press.’ Children and Society, published online 14.12.2010.
  • O’Connor J (2011) ‘From Jackie Coogan to Michael Jackson: What child stars can tell us about ideologies of childhood’ Journal of Children and Media, Vol.5 (3) pp284-297.
  • O’Connor J (2010) ‘Applying Bourdieu’s concepts of social and cultural capital and habitus to early years research’ in Whitmarsh J, Waller T & Clarke C (eds) (2010) Making sense of theory and practice: the Power of Ideas. Open University Press.
  • O'Connor J (2009) 'Beyond Social Constructionism? A Structural Analysis of the Cultural Significance of the Child Star', Children and Society, Vol.2 (3) pp214-225
  • O'Connor J (2009) 'The Demonisation of Charlotte Church: Media Constructions of a Child Prodigy', Journal of Children and Media Vol.3 (2) pp136-151
  • O’Connor J (2008) The Cultural Significance of the Child Star, London: Routledge.

Recent conference papers

  • ‘From Michael Jackson to Jackie Coogan: What child stars can tell us about wider ideologies of childhood’ presented at Child Actors/Child Stars Conference, University of Sunderland, September 2011.
  • O'Connor J, Jowallah R, Leese M, Winwood J, Waller T, Bitou A (2010) The Power of Ideas: Structure, power and knowledge. Paper presented at EECERA 2010, Birmingham.
  • ‘The Demonisation of Church: Media Constructions of a Child Prodigy’ presented at Narrative and Memory Conference, University of Huddersfield April 2007.
  • ‘Spoiled or Spoilt? Media Constructions of the Child Star’ presented at Intersections Symposium, Oxford Brookes University November 2007.
  • ‘Children who actively participate in the media’ presented at EECERA Conference, University of Stavanger, Norway, September 2008.
  • 'Is it good to be gifted? Media Constructions of Child Prodigies in the British Press' presented at the School of Education annual conference, University of Wolverhampton, May 2009.
  • ‘Media Constructions of Child Prodigies’ presented at BSA Childhood Study Group, Birmingham University, July 2009.
  •  ‘Applying Bourdieu’s concepts of social and cultural capital and habitus to early years’ research’ presented at the School of Education annual conference, University of Wolverhampton, May 2010.
  • 'Is it good to be gifted? Media Constructions of Child Prodigies in the British Press' presented at Sheffield University, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth annual conference, July 2010.

Current development and research projects

Jane is currently working on a project investigating parental attitudes towards 0-3 year olds use of touch screen technology. She is also co-authoring a paper on the child stars of the 2012 London Olympics.

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