Researching children’s voices: a challenge to methodology.

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


    A respect towards the other (to the other in itself, as in me)? Of course, for how can one listen without respecting? How can we listen to someone without being attentive to the one who is presenting their language, to what makes it come and go, speak or fall silent. (Jean-Luc Nancy, nd)

    In the last 20 years awareness that children (in particular within the Western world) have a voice has increased. It is now assumed that children express themselves and thus convey their thoughts, ideas and feelings about themselves within the world they inhabit. This constitutes part of the rights discourse (see for example UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) Article 12) that has contributed to a developed understanding of children. This is now reflected in research methodologies that aims at listening to children’s voices. While acknowledging the issues within and complexities around ‘voice’, this paper will focus on the attempts made to capture children’s voice in research. Listening is often assumed in discourses of voice, so that the ethical and political nature of the act of listening is comparatively sidelined. We ask: What does it mean to listen to children’s voices in research? How do research methodologies construct listening?

    This paper will be using examples from research conducted with children together with ideas from the philosophical writing of Jean-Luc Nancy.
    Period3 Jun 2021
    Event titleTransitioning to Sustainability: Understanding the past, shaping the future: Annual Research Forum: ISSR Forum
    Event typeSeminar