Children in Theory

Children in Theory: Theoretical Methods and Approaches to the Study of Childhood

The Children in Theory project, led by the European Children’s Rights Unit, provides a series of online resources which allow students, postgraduate researchers, early career lecturers and senior academics an opportunity to explore key methods and approaches in political and social theory, and how these apply and support research and policy on children and childhood.

The field of children and childhood studies has turned increasingly towards empirical and participatory methods for its research. Theoretical research on the subject, and how social and political theories relate and affect childhood research, however, has been waning during recent decades.

Noting both the perceived gap in but increasing value of theoretical methods for childhood research particularly, and for the social sciences in general, this project aims to offer essential capacity-building resources on theoretical concepts and methodologies in the social sciences and how they apply to childhood research. It does so through a well-curated series of introductory academic presentations, expert seminars, and open-access resources (i.e., reading lists and key questions to consider) produced by a multidisciplinary group of experts on social and political theory and on childhood studies.

These resources intend to promote global discussion and interdisciplinary engagement on theoretical methods in order to enhance ongoing and future research by academics from all backgrounds and levels of experience. Importantly, these online conversations provide individual and international access, promoting inclusion, accessibility and diversity in furthering research relating to children and childhood.