Quick Menu
The editorial team warmly welcome Mrs. Professor Lena Dominelli, and Mr. Professor Malcolm Payne, two prominent internationally social work personalities who have kindly accepted to be part of our journal’s International Advisory Board starting with issue no. 1/2010.
Review is indexed in ProQuest,EBSCO, Social Works Abstracts, CEEOL,Index Copernicus,SCIPIO,GESIS,IBSS and ERIH+

Review is accredited B+ by CNCSIS

Homepage > Archive > Numar: 2 > Making the Critical Links: Strategies for Connecting Marginalised Children’s Action Research with European Citizenship

 Making the Critical Links: Strategies for Connecting Marginalised Children’s Action Research with European Citizenship

  • Cath Larkins (The Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation School of Social Work, Care and Community, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

Although European political collectivities are distant from children’s everyday lives, through action research and critical realist theory building, marginalised children can direct research and action to understand the structural patterns of inequality that they face, and to try to overcome these. The work of Freire and Bhaskar can be combined into a three step process in which children identify issues, expand their understanding of these through reflection and action, then act for change testing the new knowledge that they have acquired. Provision of these opportunities to children can be guided by a broad range of literature to enable children to have safe spaces in which to control research resources, set agendas and establish frameworks for analysis. This paper outlines a methodology that can enable Roma, refugee, disabled children and children in contact with social services to research these issues themselves. The article is grounded in the ontological and epistemological understandings provided by critical realism and supplemented of participatory action research. It recommends a methodology that combines the critical realism and Freire’s (1973) approach to enable participatory action research. The article reflects on research resources, support from community groups, and activism by adult researchers needed to provide children with ongoing opportunities for action and direct communication so that their challenge of structural inequalities can lead to greater opportunities for knowledge production and change.

Keywords: Participatory research; critical realism; Freire; Children; young people