Power in Agency: Ambitions, Aspirations and Success

  • Geetha Marcus
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


Marcus attempts to address the fact that there are no studies that have attempted to explore the ambitions of Gypsy and Traveller girls in Scotland. The chapter explores the complex ways in which the young people’s individual identity intersects with their identities as learners and their family and cultural identity, which ultimately affect how they perceive their future. It attempts to address this gap and provides a space to demonstrate the girls’ agency—centering their individual accounts of success, aspirations and identity. It focuses on emancipation—the girls imagining their future and daring to ‘dream big’. Structural, hegemonic and interpersonal spheres of domination can interact with individual and group agency to construct systems of power and oppression. Marcus highlights their individual definitions of the word ‘success’ and their understanding of what it is to be a successful person. The next part explores their aspirations, and the author argues that the term ‘success’ is too subjective and personal to be defined but is instead left open for consideration by the girls. In a narrow sense it could be taken to mean ‘academic success’, but by including achievements in other areas that have either impacted on their educational experiences or vice versa, they could equally define it in a broader sense. Finally, building on previous chapters, Marcus again discusses the silences, tensions and contradictions in their discourse.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geetha Marcus
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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