Friday, 30 May 2014

Intersecting childhood identities, inequalities and social justice

Issues of identity and social justice have come to the fore of political, theoretical and practical discussions. Children and young people are at the heart of this debate, confronting researchers, practitioners and policy makers with challenges of how to address social inequalities and promote social justice for present and future generations. Marlies Kustatscher, co-organiser of the 'Children's rights, social justice and social identities in Scotland' seminar series updates us on the upcoming third seminar. 

Children and young people’s identities and inequalities are complex. A growing field of interdisciplinary research in the UK and beyond recognises that categories such as ethnicity, race, gender, social class, disability, sexuality and age intersect in intricate ways, shaping children’s social identities and impacting on their everyday life experiences.

The way in which such interlinking identities generate particular inequalities has been framed in theory and research through the concept of ‘intersectionality’. Intersectional perspectives recognise the diversity of different groups and examine how certain groups are silenced from and marginalised by dominant political debates. This seminar series is providing us with an opportunity to better understand what the concept of intersectionality means for those working with children or those who shape child-related policy.

In the first two seminars we have addressed how intersectionality can help us to understand overlapping childhood identities, and how it can be put into practice by practitioners and policy makers. We have explored intersectionality from children and young people's perspectives and looked at how we can promote their participation in identifying, understanding and addressing these issues.
The third seminar takes place in Glasgow on 23 June to look specifically at the challenges of methods and research. We are interested in exploring:
  • how research can help us to understand complex childhood identities and inequalities,
  • what approaches are needed to enable academic work to contribute to processes that promote social justice and equality,
  • what methods we should use to ensure that children's views, particularly from marginalised groups, are not silenced.
The seminar will include keynote presentations by Professor Floya Anthias, a leading expert in the field of intersectionality in the UK and worldwide, and Professor Peter Hopkins, who will talk about his extensive experience of doing research with young people. In the afternoon, delegates will be able to choose from a series of workshops on how to do intersectional research with children and young people in practice. The full programme is available on our website.

There are still a few final places available. Please be quick as registration closes on 6 June. The seminar is free to attend and is being held at Scottish Universities Insight Institute in Glasgow.
The seminar series is funded under the Scottish Universities Insight Institute 2013-14 programme.

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