We focus on methodological decision-making in current research on contemporary childhood experiences. We invite contributions on a variety of topics. Participants may present substantial findings but should also be eager to engage in methodological debate around key cross-cutting themes.
Our starting point is a robust tradition of ethnographic and/or qualitative research on children and childhood developed over almost five decades but, in this panel, we turn our attention to emergent areas of research centrally focused on childhood experiences and conditions with little historical precedent. Some of the topics (among others) that we see as part of this contemporary context may connect with new family forms facilitated through assisted reproductive technologies, the global/transnational connections and trajectories of migrant children and youth, digital media and childhood, emergent fluid/non-binary gender identities, contemporary expressive practices, institutional experiences in changing socio-political and economic conditions, etc. From our perspective, addressing any of these emergent issues involves extending, revisiting and rethinking the conventional methodological tool-kit of ethnographic and qualitative research on childhood. The session is conceived as an opportunity for childhood scholars to take stock and discuss methodological dissatisfactions and the methodological decision-making that helped them move forward, including intersections with ethical and epistemological concerns. We seek contributions from a wide variety of geographical contexts, working at the juncture of different disciplines and who have approached methodological decisions differently, including (but not limited to) putting into dialogue different analytical traditions, creating novel methodological devices and/or transforming research relations and dynamics. In this context, individual papers in the panel section may combine the presentation of substantial findings and methodological reflection, while the roundtable discussion will focus on cross-cutting methodological/ethical/epistemological themes across research projects and experiences.