Nordisk Nettverk for barnelivsforskning (External organisation)

Røn-Larsen, M. (Member), Agnes Andenæs (Member), Anita Sundnes (Member), Anja Marschall (Member), Anja Hvidtfeldt Stanek (Member), Anne Jansen (Member), Anne Morin (Member), Højholt, C. (Member), Christina Holm Poulsen (Member), Shapiro, D. K. (Member), Ditte Alexandra Winther-Lindqvist (Member), Dorte Kousholt (Member), Hanne Værum Sørensen (Member), Ida Schwartz (Member), Jytte Susanne Bang (Member), Kari Sjøhelle Jevne (Member), Karin Aronsson (Member), Kristine Kousholt (Member), Bendix-Olsen, K. (Member), Liv Mette Gulbrandsen (Member), Louise Bøttcher (Member), Lærke Testmann (Member), Mariane Hedegaard (Member), Mona-Iren Hauge (Member), Chimirri, N. A. (Member), Oddbjørg Skjær Ulvik (Member), Pernille Hviid (Member), Juhl, P. (Member), Sine Penthin Grumløse (Member), Pedersen, S. (Member), Mardahl-Hansen, T. (Member), Wenche Bekken (Member), Inger-Lise Negård (Member)

Activity: MembershipMembership in research network

Description

Initial motivation for starting the network
A group of Nordic researchers that were coming to the same international conferences realized that they struggle with the same problems - the problems to integrate the general conceptions from psychological research about children's development with the situated childhood approach, and at the same time including the children's experience, all seeking inspiration in the Cultural-Historical approach.

The aim of the network
The aim is to create a forum for researchers who are interested in using the Cultural-Historical research approach extending from Lev Vygotsky (1998) as a way to unite developmental psychology and childhood research in their research about children.

Setup of the network
The network consist of five groups. The five groups have in their research focused on studying children’s social situation as the core in researching children’s development. Their research careers have already been interwoven because of the shared interest in an alternative approach to main stream child psychology.
- Members of the network

Contact between the senior researchers has grown in intensity over the last six years, through their shared concern to find a holistic alternative to mainstream psychology that focused on the children’s social situation.

Since 2006 we have had yearly meetings. For the moment we are working with a book publication: Researching Children’s Everyday Lives – a book presenting Nordic research about children’s perspectives.
- Other events

Critical approaches
Developmental psychology has been criticized as being ahistorical and aimed at the study of 'the general child'. This way of conceptualizing development has been criticized from several approaches. From Child psychology Erica Burman has been a prominent critic with her book (Burman, E., 1994, reprinted 2008) 'Deconstructing developmental psychology'. Another critical approach can be found in Childhood studies with the work of James, Jenks, and Prout (James, A., Jenks, C. & Prout, A., 1997).

'Theorizing childhood' has become rather influential, which can be seen from the conference in Oslo 2005 about Childhood that drew around 1000 participants. The Childhood approach focuses on studies of children anchored in historical time and settings.

The limitations of the Deconstruction and the Childhood approach
Both the Deconstruction approach and the Childhood approach do not give a theoretical frame for children’s development as a process of transformation that includes biological, cultural and historical transformations. One has to take a step further to conceptualize a child’s social situation of development. This includes the child’s wishes and how s/he experiences the social demands in the situation. The relation between the social demands and the child’s wishes constitutes the dynamic leading to psychological changes.

Inspired by the Cultural-Historical tradition of psychology the child’s development has to be seen as trajectories through institutional practices that at every point can be characterized in relation to the child’s social situation of development. This implies a perspective of development that gives possibilities to investigate how children meet demands and engage in activities and how they thereby contribute to their own development and life course.

A cooperation between Copenhagen University, Roskilde university, Southern Denmarks Úniversity, Oslo University, University college of Oslo, Linköping University

Period1 Jun 2007
Held atNordisk Nettverk for barnelivsforskning
Degree of RecognitionInternational