This article turns to Shane Meadow’s film This is England (2006) to describe the impact that losing a parent can have on a child’s development. In doing so it also, more broadly, makes a case for creative fiction as a resource for teaching about children’s mourning. The film’s protagonist is a boy named Shaun Fields whose father has recently been killed in the 1982 Falkland’s war. With reference to Melanie Klein’s theory of reparation and a Winnicottian framework of film as potential space, the author uses psychoanalytic theories of aesthetics to consider the value of mourning to the child’s development. In considering what inhibits the child’s mourning, attention is paid to the psycho-social conditions that produce violent masculinities.

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Keywords aesthetics, Childhood, masculinity, nation, psychoanalysis, violence
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Journal Pedagogy, Culture and Society
Dyer, H. (2016). Reparation for a violent boyhood: pedagogies of mourning in Shane Meadow’s This is England. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 1–11. doi:10.1080/14681366.2016.1255244