Participation, rights and 'participatory' methods

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNRC) has come together with academic ideas about children as social actors and valuable research participants, to recognize and promote children’s participation. Recognizing that young children have rights can provide a pertinent antidote to seeing them solely as social investments and human capital or as property of their parents. Participation rights have influenced new ways of working and research with children. This chapter brings together key ideas of rights and participatory methods together. Further, the chapter includes the well-developed critique of participation in development studies, which has been often highly challenging of the claims for participation and participatory methods. The chapter suggests that participatory methods may create better knowledge, be more than ethical and more inclusive than traditional methods -- but not necessarily. Due reflection and criticality are required, so that participation and participatory methods can be meet these positive aspirations and avoid the negative potentials.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sage Handbook of Early Childhood Research
EditorsAnn Farrell, Sharon Lynn Kagan, E Kay M Tisdall
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
ISBN (Print)9781446272190
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • early childhood
  • research methods
  • participation


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