Child-focused research across a continuum of participatory methodologies has frequently been credited with ‘giving voice’ to vulnerable and marginalized groups. Issues concerning how ‘voice’ is conceptualized – in all research – merit critical consideration; however, there are particular implications for research with children who are generally regarded as vulnerable and in need of protection. For example, when ‘voice’ is conflated with autonomy, authority is granted to some children’s accounts while raising concerns about the authenticity of others. This framing also risks representing children’s ‘voices’ in ways that serve adult researchers’ aims, but fail to account for the situated, dialogical contexts wherein meanings are co-produced and intergenerational. A growing number of international scholars have critiqued understandings of ‘the child’s voice’ and called for more critically-reflexive methodological approaches to research with children and youth. The focus of this Special issue is further inspired by calls for critical conceptions of voice in qualitative inquiry more broadly. While issues of ‘voice’ for this special issue will relate most directly to research with children and youth, the challenges discussed will inform the design and conduct of qualitative methodologies with other populations, also deemed ‘vulnerable’.
The editors invite manuscript submissions that:
- Engage with interdisciplinary scholarship and contemporary and international developments in child-focused qualitative inquiry across fields that may include but are not limited to education, health and child welfare
- Build on and extend theorizations of ‘voice’ in qualitative research with children and youth.
- Consider ethical issues pertinent to representations of children’s voices in qualitative research
- Explicate strategies used to address methodological challenges in eliciting, analyzing and representing children’s voices through qualitative research
- Appeal to academic and practice-oriented researchers who are interested in advancing qualitative methodologies
The editors encourage international contributions, which will allow for cross-cultural comparison across the collection, as well as contributions from authors at a range of career stages, from early career to more established writers
Submission Deadline: August 31, 2019
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