The usage of children in research is a necessity which takes on massive significance in the sphere of researches dealing with, in relation to or concerned with studying children and the various impacts on their world. Clark uses an interesting phrase ‘sociology’ of children…
Further, I shall attempt to gauge the difficulty level in overcoming them for the researchers involved. To evaluate these obstructions; I need to first discuss my own understanding of both cultural and institutional barriers.
Cultural barriers are a result of varying (not necessarily one) culture and its reflective beliefs about children. These beliefs form major ideological notions of what being a child constitutes, what behaviors are to be expected, what are to be punished, and consequently in what manner adults should handle children. These impediments arise in researches done amongst all nations, and materialize in different child-identity arrangements. Amongst the most common ones are that children are ‘innocent’ and ‘naive’. This translates to the assumption that children are not reliable sources of knowledge. Their responses are not to be taken seriously since they lack enough knowledge to make meaningful observances.
Parents play a major role in these scenarios. A number of social factors shape parents notions and expectations, and these may be challenged if children are given equal opportunities as adults to participate. For this reason, ensuring child participation means ensuring parental satisfaction (Ray, et al., 2010)
Institutional barriers are those barriers in which institutions such as schools and governments place limits on child participation and hence hinder the space left for researches to explore in. Unlike cultural barriers, these are harder to overcome. Since they involve a larger number of people and usually governmental policies and laws, they need to be kept in accordance with. One such example of this is the case of ‘informed consent’. Various countries deal with this separately and allot children of certain ages of legal/illegal statuses which allow them to be independent ...
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