Never work with children? Methodological issues in children’s geographies.

Barker, J., & Weller, S. (2003). Never work with children? Methodological issues in children’s geograhies (Geography of methodological issues in research with children). Qualitative Research, 3(2). pp. 207-227.

Abstract: Over the past decade, there has been an increasing interest in the methodologies used in research with children. Geographers have contributed to the growing body of research that highlights that children are not simply passive objects dependent on adults, but are competent social actors that make sense of and actively contribute to their environment. The growing trend to conceptualize children as social actors has profound implications for geographical research with children, most notably the development of more `inclusive’ and participatory research agendas and children-centred methodologies. In this article, we draw upon two ongoing postgraduate research projects with children to discuss our experiences of adopting such innovative children-centred research practices and methodologies. In particular, we focus upon the contribution that a specifically geographical approach can make to the wider interdisciplinary debates about children-centred research. Therefore, we discuss the importance of recognizing the spatiality of research with children, and highlight the significance of the geography of methodological issues, by exploring the significance of both the spaces in which we conduct our research, and the spaces at the centre of our research. We also discuss issues concerning the representation of children in the process of dissemination. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Qualitative Research, 3/2, 08/2003 by SAGE Publications, Ltd., All rights reserved. © Sage Publications Ltd.).

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