Eleanor Murray


Thesis: Learning Parenthood: Family, Schooling and Childhood, 1930-1970

I began my PhD in October 2016 and my research is supported by the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities. I completed my BA degree at the University of Sussex with First Class Honours before studying for an MA degree in Contemporary History, also at the University of Sussex, gaining a Distinction. 

Papers and posters:

'Sons and Brothers: Teenage masculinity in post-1945 Britain' poster, presented at the Social History Society Conference, (March 2016: Lancaster University).

‘'I was being big brother’: Family, Caregiving, and Adolescent Masculinity in Post-1945 Britain', presented at Who Cares? The Past and Present of Caring, (March 2017: University of Leeds).

‘‘When I grow up I hope to become an excellent woman and a good housewife’: Exploring perceptions of domesticity, mothering and female identity in girls’ inter-war writings’, presented at Modern British Studies Conference, (July 2017: University of Birmingham)

‘Childhood, Parenting and Psychology: Children’s conceptions of psychological childcare advice in mid-twentieth-century Britain’, presented at the Social History Society Conference, (June 2018: Keele University)

‘Children’s Imagined Journeys: Representations of parenting and gender in children’s essay competition writings in 1950s England’, presented at the Children’s History Society Conference, (July 2018: University of Greenwich)


Twitter: @elliealice01

Research interests

My PhD research explores the ways in which children growing up in Britain understood and learnt about parenting. It uses essays written by schoolchildren from the 1930s through to the late 1960s to explore how they thought about parenting roles and relationships, and the values and practices they associated with parenthood. It also assess the mediums through which children learnt about parenting, such as family and peer relationships and the popular press, to offer a new perspective on generational changes in family life in twentieth-century Britain and explore the relationship between childhood experiences and parental identity in later life.

My MA dissertation explored the experiences of teenage boys in post-1945 Britain, arguing that masculinity amongst adolescent boys became more centred towards family life after the Second World War.

More broadly, I am interested in the history of children and childhood, children’s play, family life, experiences of the everyday and subjectivity.


  • MA in Contemporary History (Distinction)
  • BA History (First Class Honours)