“It is refreshing to see a book such as this which is both broad in its conceptualization of the field of child research and deep in its focus. The volume's editors are paragons of awareness when it comes to the need for interdisciplinary research and theory to illuminate the lives and experience of children.”
– James Garbarino, Loyola University Chicago
“Covers a satisfying and unprecedentedly wide range of research relating to childhood. The contributors include many eminent international scholars of childhood, making the book a valuable resource for child researchers. Child advocates will also find the book to be invaluable in their efforts to improve children's well-being, and to change policies and practices for the better.”
– Anne Smith, University of Otago
“A really scintillating collection that will provide a lasting perspective on child studies - stimulating and comprehensive!”
– Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York
In keeping with global changes in children's social and legal status, this Handbook includes examination of children as family members, friends, learners, consumers, people of faith, and participants in law and politics. The contributors also discuss the methodological and ethical requirements for research that occurs in natural settings and that enables children themselves to describe their perspective.
The book is divided into three parts: Part I: Setting-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part II: Population-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part III: Methods in Research on Children and Childhood
Chapter 4: Children as Political Actors
Children as Political Actors
It is often assumed, that, as non-voters, young people are not involved in political processes and instead need protection from the adult world. Although the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child brought formal recognition of youth as deserving of citizenship and a unique set of human rights (Sherrod, 2008), the concept of youth political participation remains controversial in many contemporary Western democracies. Children often are regarded as incomplete and incompetent (‘becomings' or ‘citizens in the making’) who need protection and cannot be granted full rights and traditional participation options. At the same time, young people are accused of political apathy or, conversely, of taking overly-radical political actions. At the heart of this paradox is ...