Generational power in research with children: Reflections on risk and "Voice"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The assertion that children and adolescents will express their own views, in their own voice, when they are asked to do so, undergirds a significant amount of research and policy, as evidenced in Article 12 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. This assumption can lead to a homogenous rendering of children's perspectives through the use of problematic concepts like "children's voice," which masks the variety and contradictions in their views. Differences in power between adult researchers and children are one of the forces that limit child respondents' ability to openly express opinions or even factual knowledge. In this chapter, Bolgrien, Levison, and Vavrus discuss methodological approaches that strive to reduce generational power differences in research and thus allow for young people to express a wider range of perspectives. The authors also present practical strategies based on their research in Tanzania that can be used by researchers interested in learning about childhood from children themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChildren and Youth as Subjects, Objects, Agents
Subtitle of host publicationInnovative Approaches to Research Across Space and Time
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030636326
ISBN (Print)9783030636319
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.


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