Conducting ethnographic fieldwork with children presents anthropologists with particular challenges and limitations, as well as rewards and insights. Children: Ethnographic Encounters presents ten vivid accounts of researchers’ experiences of working with children across a variety of cultural contexts. Part of the Ethnographic Encounters series, the book offers honest reflections on successes as well as failures and shows that in all cases – even those that ‘failed’ – anthropologists can learn something about children’s position in their social world. Going beyond the usual focus on North America and Europe, the text offers comparative insights into the nature of childhood in different societies. The chapters provide first-hand accounts of fieldwork with children in diverse geographical places such as Mexico, the Ecuadorian Amazon, Rwanda, central India, Thailand, Malaysia, and China. The book provides hope, encouragement and inspiration to anyone planning to undertake ethnographic fieldwork with children and provides important insights to students and researchers working in the growing field of anthropology of children and childhood, in childhood studies, and related fields.
Table of Contents
Introduction Catherine Allerton, London School of Economics, UK1. Different Childhoods, Different Ethnographies: Encounters in Rwanda Maja Haals Brosnan, London School of Economics, UK2. 'Difficult' Children: Ethnographic Chaos and Creativity in Migrant Malaysia Catherine Allerton3. Paths to the Unfamiliar: Journeying with Children in Ecuadorian Amazonia Natalia Buitrón-Arias, London School of Economics, UK4. The Exemplary Adult: Ethnographic Failure and Lessons from a Chinese School James Johnston, London School of Economics, UK5. Learning to be a Child in Greater London Anne-Marie Sim, University of Oxford, UK6. Questions and Curiosities, Ignorance and Understanding: Ethnographic Encounters with Children in Central India Peggy Froerer, Brunel University, UK7. Protectors and Protected: Children, Parents and Infidelities in a Mexican Village Zorana Milicevic8. Awkward Encounters: Authenticity and Artificiality in Rapport with Young Informants in China Ole Johannes Kaland, NLA University College, Norway9. Growing Close Where Inequalities Grow Large? A Patron for Qur'anic Students in Nigeria Hannah Hoechner, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium10. Understanding the Indefensible: Reflections on Fieldwork with Child Prostitutes in Thailand Heather Montgomery, Open University, UK11. Guide to Further Reading, Catherine AllertonSelect Bibliography Index
Catherine Allerton is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.
All contributions are written in a highly accessible manner, free from disciplinary jargon or particular theoretical concerns and with only a bare minimum of literature citations. The result is a unique text appealing to a broad readership. The chapters convey a real sense of what ethnographic research with children and youth is all about, including insightful reflections on the many dilemmas researchers inevitably encounter. In this way, the title offers something that the various textbooks on doing research with children and youth rarely achieve and as such forms an excellent companion to such conventional texts ... I would fully recommend this book to anyone interested in doing research with children – certainly not just anthropologists! - Children's Geographies