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Constructing 'normal childhoods': young people talk about young carers

There has been a great deal of attention paid to young carers in recent research, social policy and service provision. In this paper we report on a survey and interview study of 46 young people aged 15 to 18, nine of whom had experience as young carers, to explore the ways in which young people construct the young carer and their disabled parent. A key theme arising from the interview data analysis is the construction of a series of normative assumptions about 'normal' childhood through which young carers and their disabled parent are viewed as non-normative and deficient. The predominantly negative construction of both parent and child/carer is critically analyzed and alternatives suggested in the discussion of these findings.

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Disability & Society

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