Beyond on or with: Questioning power dynamics and knowledge production in 'child-oriented' research methodology

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Abstract

By taking a reflexive approach to research methodology, this article contributes to discussions on power dynamics and knowledge production in the social studies of children. The author describes and analyzes three research methods that she used with children - drawing, child-led tape-recording and focus group discussions. These methods were carried out during 15 months of research in a low-income urban settlement in Zambia with children (ages 8-12) caring for sick parents or guardians. The research raises two points concerning current conceptions of children's research methodology. First, it is necessary to investigate what so-called 'child-oriented' research methodologies accomplish for adult researchers. Second, acknowledging that children have their own reasons for participating in research and investigating these reasons may offer a more comprehensive view of children's experiences and needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalChildhood
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Keywords

  • Africa
  • HIV/AIDS
  • participatory methods
  • research with children
  • tuberculosis

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