Preverbal children as co-researchers: Exploring subjectivity in everyday living

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


The current political focus in Western societies on how to prevent risk in early childhood manifests itself in preventive intervention programs based on research documenting the impact of risk factorsand protective factors. This is why, particularly in the field of marginalization and inclusion, there is much to gain from employing theoretical concepts capable of comprehending children as intentional subjects who co-produce their life conditions. However, concerns about children’s well-being that prompts early preventive interventions do not necessarily take the concrete everyday lives of the children and parents as their starting point for understanding their difficulties and designing the interventions. In response to this problematic, the paper theoretically refines the rendering of a conceptual framework suitable for including preverbal subjects in research and professional work. It is argued that the theoretical framework “psychology from the standpoint of the subject” is useful, as its conceptualization of the human–world relationship is a dialectical one that emphasizes how children are active subjects in their own lives. Nevertheless, key concepts such as subjective reasons for action and first-person perspective, do not sufficiently encompass bodily and emotional activity. The paper proposes the notion of Befindlichkeit, a German word translated here as embodied orientation, as a key concept that allows the inclusion of infants and toddlers as co-researchers in explorations of their life situations. Befindlichkeit contributes by situating bodily activities in processes of orientating in social practice
Publikationsdato23 aug. 2019
StatusUdgivet - 23 aug. 2019
Begivenhed18th Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology: Measured Lives - Theoretical Psychology in an Era of Acceleration - Aarhus University / DPU, Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 19 aug. 201923 aug. 2019


Konference18th Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology
LokationAarhus University / DPU

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