Childhood and Youth research cluster


The key focus of this cluster is to build a research community around interdisciplinary perspectives and conceptions of childhood and youth. We aim to engage with researchers, with community groups and networks, policy makers, practitioners, and cultural, health and well-being institutions. As a group, we have wide-ranging expertise and interests in children’s lived experiences, with concern for their individual and collective opportunities to live well and to participate in society with recognition of their agency as social actors. We take the age range of “childhood” and “youth” in their broadest sense, to encompass not only legal definitions of childhood, but also Generation Z (born mid-1990s to early 2010s) and young people, including many university students. We endeavour to seek opportunities to work alongside children as researchers and our current interests are diverse, drawing on a number of social sciences and theoretical frameworks and concepts. Our recent and current research includes:

  • agency and participation in childhood and youth 
  • children’s aspirations and capabilities
  • young people’s media and digital worlds
  • children’s play cultures
  • customary practices and vernacular cultures, folklore, folk tales
  • Makerspaces
  • child psychology
  • children as researchers
  • histories of childhood
  • youth activism (such as climate/sustainability activism). 

We share research interests in the contrasting agency and participation of different young people in society and seek to foreground the complex intersectional factors that have contributed to the sustained marginalisation of many children and young people throughout history and across contrasting geopolitical spaces.

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