ISSN 1753-0849

Childhoods Today Online JournalChildhoods Today

An online journal for childhood studies


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Volume 3 Issue 1 - August 25, 2009

Rooting Respect: Young People’s Perspectives on Respect, Responsibility and Government in the Criminal Courts

by Alexandra Cox

This article is based on a small piece of empirical research done with young people charged with crimes as adults in New York City. It examines young people’s perspectives on respect, responsibility and government in the context of their legal case. The article contends that young people’s perspectives on some of the moral and ethical dimensions of punishment and control are essential in trying to build a fair and socially just system.

Estrella – a gifted narrative

by Kjerstin Dahlblom

This paper analyses a short written account by a young Nicaraguan girl who narrates an experience she had while taking care of her small niece. She describes a turning point in her life, and narrative analysis was applied to interpret the meaning of her story. The importance and implications of becoming a mother are the key elements in her narrative. Her contribution was part of a larger study on sibling caretaking conducted in León, Nicaragua, in which multiple tools were used for exploration and analysis.

The Power in the Letter: Policies, Politics and the Youth-related Agenda for the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ Programme

by Maria Patsarika

The Government’s agenda to refurbish and re-build all secondary schools in England and Wales with the Building Schools for the Future programme (launched 2004) has raised significant issues about young people’s participatory and decision-making rights. Whilst student participation appears to be a paramount in consultation documents in the design and building process, it arguably remains on the level of rhetoric, failing to provide a meaningful and effective context for engagement. By drawing on a broader framework of children’s rights policy, and particularly on the Green Paper "Every Child Matters", this paper exposes the interconnections between policies, politics and a contested youth-rights agenda.

Ethics in Child Research: Children’s Agency and Researchers’ ‘Ethical Radar’

by Lovisa Skånfors

The article reflects on ethical dilemmas encountered during a study with 2–5-year-old children in preschool. A brief overview of the ethical research field indicates that discussions mostly revolve around problems of the consent process. Empirical illustrations are given and discussed in an endeavour to contribute to knowledge within this field. The conclusion is that ‘ethical radars’ are necessary throughout the research process, as children seem to have other ways of expressing acceptance and rejection/withdrawal than just verbally.