Preverbal children as co-researchers

Exploring subjectivity in everyday living

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article theoretically refines the rendering of a conceptual framework suitable for including preverbal subjects, i.e., infants, in research. 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 article discusses the framework’s inadequacies and, by extension, 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. Befindlichkeit contributes to the analysis of the human–world relationship by situating bodily and emotional activities in processes of orientating in social practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory & Psychology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)46-65
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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