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All inclusive: lustrum UG, 5-15 June 2019

Lustrum: All inclusiveScience programmeConference: “Growing together: Celebrating diversity and fostering inclusion”

Kristina Konstantoni

Kristina Konstantoni
Kristina Konstantoni

Whose childhood counts? The critical role of ethnography and participation in researching childhoods and intersectional inequalities


Intersectionality has recently received attention in the childhood studies field and authors have begun to critically discuss its application. Yet to date, this critical analysis of intersectionality, has not been applied to methodological approaches to researching childhoods.

Drawing on an ethnographic and participatory research project with very young children (0-5) and their families (7 families) in their homes and communities within the Greek context, the presentation analyses the effects of the current ‘double’ humanitarian crisis on children, and children’s experiences of living rights in such ‘tough times’.

The concept of living rights highlights that children ‘while making use of notions of rights, shape what these rights are- and become- in the social world’challenging in this way that children’s rights are ‘exclusively defined by international institutions or states’ (Hanson and Nieuwenhuys 2013: 6).

It is argued that it is imperative for childhood researchers to provide more nuanced, complex and intersectional analysis of power relations while conducting research with children in order to understand complex childhood inequalities and children’s living rights. The presentation suggests, that ethnographic and participatory approaches are critical in understanding how processes of inequalities 'work' in everyday life, and whose childhoods count.

  • Hanson, K.; Nieuwenhuys, O. (Eds) (2013). Reconceptualizing children's rights in international development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Dr Kristina Konstantoni, Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland and an Associate researcher at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR).

Kristina was the Programme Director of the BA Childhood Practice for five years (during which the programme received an Investing in Children Membership Award). Kristina is a sociologist of childhood and education, and holds an MSc in Childhood Studies.

Kristina has worked in early years centres in Scotland and in Greece, in third sector children’s organizations and community centres. Kristina’s research focuses on children’s experiences of intersecting inequalities; children’s rights in humanitarian crises (austerity and refugee crises); children’s peer relationships and educators’ social justice pedagogies.

She has been involved in a range of research and knowledge exchange projects linked to children and young people’s intersecting identities, inequalities, participation and rights.

She has published widely in the field of childhood studies and children’s rights. She has been Awarded a College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Recognition award 2016  for ‘Excellence in External Engagement’ and was commissioned Research to Review the benchmark Standard for Childhood Practice in 2015 and produce a revised national policy document which governs the practice of all childhood practitioners in Scotland (Standard for Childhood Practice 2015 Revised).

She is the member of and has provided consultancy as part of the Scottish Equalities in Youth Work Steering Group, the European Family Support Network and others.

Last modified:13 May 2019 2.46 p.m.
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