FOUR CORNERSTONES OF THE ETHNOGRAPHY OF CHILDREN

Mirja Köngäs, Kaarina Määttä

Abstract


How to conduct childhood research from the children’s point of view? Among various methods, ethnography has proven to be a method by which researchers are able to find the reality of children's lives and symbolic messages within the reality of children. The researcher must be open to set aside his / her adult-like thinking and jump right into children’s experiences, feelings, and interactions to find the understanding of child-centered answers. How is this done? We divide the critical stages of ethnographic childhood research into four: 1) acquiring material, 2) assuming the role of a researcher, 3) reaching the child’s voice, and 4) describing the results to open up the world of children. This article opens up a discussion also about researchers’ preparedness to self-reflect and ethical perspectives in ethnographic childhood research. Ethnographic research helps to see a child’s world and can thus contribute to children’s wellbeing and education.

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Keywords


ethnography, children, childhood research, child orientation

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v8i3.3622

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