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Colin MacDougall & Philip Darbyshire

In: The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection

Chapter 39: Collecting Qualitative Data with Children

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Collecting Qualitative Data with Children
Collecting Qualitative Data with Children
Colin MacDougallPhilip Darbyshire
Aims and plan of the chapter

The Hollywood film director W.C. Fields famously warned: ‘Never work with animals or children’ lest the actors be upset by children's unpredictability or upstaged by their performance. Vestiges of this sentiment linger in the folklore of qualitative research with children,1 rendering data collection more daunting than necessary. Like actors, good qualitative researchers use tried and trusted skills to anticipate and manage the unpredictability of children, or the adult-designed structures surrounding them. Researchers also know when and how to step back, enabling children's experiences to take their rightful place on the qualitative stage.

This chapter helps qualitative researchers to pause data collection until sound epistemological thinking has devised a best ...

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