Children's and young people’s right to participate has been increasingly acknowledged and taken up internationally, as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet much of this has focused on collecting children’s voices, rather than achieving change, and has met its limits. This book provides an analysis of children’s participation in formal, collective and action research processes in six different international settings. It offers a deeper understanding of what helps and facilitates children's and young people’s participation through research, evaluation and decision-making to go beyond voice and effect change. This analysis is set in the context of historical and current discourses of participation, the sociology of childhood, contemporary anthropology, children’s geography and international development.
Themes addressed include time and processes in children’s participation, shifting and multiple identities of children, political and cultural contexts, places and spaces children inhabit, skills and capacities of adults, accountability and power. The analysis promotes an approach to children’s participation as relational and collaborative, and will contribute to answering some of the questions facing practitioners and researchers embarking on participatory enquiry with children and young people.
This is an invaluable book for practitioners and for scholars, postgraduates in anthropology, sociology, human geography, childhood studies, development studies, social policy, social work, community work, education, youth work and those with an interest in citizenship, children’s rights and human rights. Researchers and practitioners in UN, government and non-government services will also find it applicable to engaging with children and young people.
Table of Contents
PART I: INTRODUCTION – BEYOND VOICE 1. Introduction: following the Journey of Voice PART II: CONSTRUCTING CHILDHOOD AND CHILDREN’S PARTICIPATION 2. Constructions of Childhood 3. Constructing Children’s Participation PART III: SETTING THE SCENE IN ASIA AND THE UK 4. Cases of Children’s Participation in Global Contexts 5. Creative and Participatory Methods and Revisits with Children PART IV: THEMES FOR POLICY AND PRACTICE 6. Reflections on Participation Processes 7. Children’s identities and capacities in process 8. Places and Spaces for Children’s Participation 9. Skills and Capacities of Workers and Participants 10. Power and Accountability PART V: CONCLUSION: GOING BEYOND VOICE 11. Conclusion
Vicky Johnson is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London and is a Director of Development Focus
Andy West is an independent researcher, writer and consultant and part time Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London