Introduction: Valuing Young Voices
Whether to build theories or effective policies, qualitative methods centered on children’s vantage points will likely open a way to fascinating, and paramount, perspectives. A generational gap between adults and kids, by which adults tend to be disconnected from or dismissing of children, can be addressed through child-centered inquiry. In American society, there is a pattern of adult bias towards children, viewing childhood as utopic, vulnerable, and transformable. But children are not so idealized or stereotyped from a child’s standpoint. Children are complex inhabitants of nuanced social worlds, even if those worlds are prone to diverge from adult suppositions. Researchers are wise to empower children as informants, to allow for them to be better understood on their own terms.
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