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The city of Bristol, UK, set out to pursue a just transition to climate change in 2020. This paper explores what happened next. We set out to study how just transition is unfolding politically on the ground, focusing on procedural justice. Over the course of a year, we conducted interviews and observations to study decision making at three levels – public sector, private sector and civil society. We found that not only is it difficult to define what just transition means, even for experts, but that the process of deciding how to pursue such a transition is highly exclusionary, especially to women and ethnic minorities. We therefore argue there is an urgency to revise decision-making procedures and ensure that there is ample opportunity to feed into decision-making processes by those who are typically excluded. Inclusive decision making must be embedded into the process of just transition from the beginning and throughout its implementation – it is not a step that can be ‘ticked off’ and then abandoned, but rather an ongoing process that must be consistently returned to. Finally, we conclude that cities have the unique opportunity to pilot bottom-up participatory approaches and to feed into the process of how a just transition might be pursued at the global level – for example, through their participation in the United Nations Framework for the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) processes.

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The legacies of eugenics in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and their connections to global colonialism remain uncharted. Therefore, it is worth pondering over this relationship, which requires a historical perspective and a repositioning of the recent postcolonial ‘turn’ in CEE to include the history of eugenics. For the most part of the 20th century, eugenics took shape within both colonial and nation-building projects. Eugenic strategies devised to preserve the colonial system outside Europe have always coexisted with programmes designed to improve the well-being of nations within Europe. This convergence between colonial, racial and national dimensions of eugenics requires a critical rethought. While this key line of inquiry has been a major focus in Western Europe and the US, it remains under-theorised in CEE. By highlighting the colonial implications of nation-building in the region, we attempt to destabilise the all-too-pervasive historiographic misconception that CEE nations are largely untouched by the global circulation of eugenics and scientific racism.

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This chapter centres on an incident that occurred when carrying out research with children, in which a child fell and bumped their head. The reflexive ripples of that event form the focus of this chapter. The aim of the study was to explore children’s perceptions of their school playground, a graveyard, a potentially ‘sensitive’ topic to navigate. The chapter reflexively considers the implications of utilising and remaining true to the feminist methodological ideals and ethics of care that underpinned this study. Such paradigms embrace care, closeness, emotional engagement, and connectedness with participants, and call for researchers to interrogate their own positions within the research encounter. In reflexively uncovering the many ‘selves’ we brought to this fieldwork, some of which were unexpected – academic, teacher, nurse, mother – the chapter scrutinises our actions during this encounter, here represented by comforting a child through touch. This response became the site of our anxieties, and the intensity of our emotional labour, as we wrestled dominant safeguarding discourses of ‘do not touch children’ with methodological values and personal biographies. Revealing such happenings is not easy but being reflexive compels us to question our actions, even those, or particularly those, we might prefer not to share.

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This chapter outlines the complexities and methodological issues in adopting a reflexive approach as part of a research project entitled ‘More Than …’. This chapter will illustrate the ways in which we as researchers used reflexivity across our research project, from ethical concerns to decisions around the dissemination of data. The chapter explores, through the lens of reflexivity, the decisions made concerning research design, methods, and ethical processes, where the positionality of the researchers emerged as salient when researching with disabled young people.

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Reflexivity, Methodology, and Researcher Identity

This collection explores leading values and concepts in global child-based research through the lens of reflexivity.

The book considers issues such as the identities and roles of researchers, as well as the burdens, boundaries and ethical frameworks which govern their activities. Using empirical examples from Israel, India, Thailand and England, expert contributors discuss a range of topics to include online safeguards, disabilities, gang membership, child protection and various sex-related issues.

This book guides childhood research towards a more reflexive debate that critically challenges conventions, highlighting plurality of voice and improving outcomes.

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This chapter provides a detailed reflexive account of my research process for ‘Digital Artefact vs Digital Fingerprint: An Ethnography of Gangs Online’ to problematise the concept of ‘do no harm’ for the digital child and the digital researcher. This chapter draws from a digital ethnography which used publicly available data, triangulated with eight expert interviews and participant observation in 12 focus groups about gangs and social media. Research was conducted in secondary schools located in a borough identified as having high levels of serious youth violence. I demonstrate how child protection frameworks ultimately placed limits on children’s voices, which resulted in my becoming a covert researcher, ‘lurking’ online, as sanctioned and deemed preferable by the ethics committee. The concept of ‘do no harm’ and the ethics associated therewith had underestimated the child’s life and potential harm online. Covert online research made defensible to protect ‘offline children’ exposed me to high levels of trauma. This chapter critically explores how we, as researchers, can respond to research trauma. I highlight why I will never ‘lurk’ again and how we can move forward with online research with vulnerable populations by applying feminist methodologies.

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Aspects of sexuality accompany the individual from infancy through adolescence to adulthood. In terms of the hegemonic discourse, sexual maturity marks the dividing line between childhood and adolescence, so there is little discussion of sexuality during the period of childhood. The public consensus is that the sexualisation of culture as a construct of childhood is negative and many parents and teachers are reluctant to provide sex education to children. Along with this, children use the internet as a source of information about various topics, including sex and sexuality. This chapter discusses the sexting phenoSmenon (sending and receiving sexual messages) among children and young people and suggests ways of addressing this behaviour. After reviewing the relevant research literature, we examine ethical issues, our dilemmas and reflections as both researchers and mothers when conducting such research, and our understanding of the fears many parents harbour about their children’s encounters with sexuality.

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Reflexivity is an expansive notion and a methodological idea[l] that can be applied across many aspects of research, from ontological positions to epistemological and methodological questions, and further to global and political issues. This volume focuses on the insights that such reflexivity offers to research with children by bringing together researchers who incorporate and interrogate this concept as a central tenet of their work. Reflexivity is used, throughout the volume, to shine a light onto the decisions we make as researchers, our uncertainties and concerns within the research process, and the actions we take with our co-producers in research, children. Reflexivity grants us permission to share our research journeys and all their imperfections with an openness and honesty previously denied. The volume argues for a paradigm shift that moves away from simply ‘collecting’ the voices of children to the inclusion of reflexivity as a way to develop a more meaningful encounter with our contributors, a deeper exposition of self, position, power, and thinking, and a moral imperative to improve the lives of our participants. The volume and its contributors argue that the inclusion and wider involvement of reflexivity provides the next step in moving forward methodologies that research children and childhood.

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This chapter uses the concept of reflexivity to discuss how child voice, as distinct from children’s participation, is the product of a dynamic interplay of relationships that occurs within and outside of the child protection system. A critical reflection of the significant role of political structures, processes, relationships, narratives, and the linkages between them in child protection work shows the complex variables that influence the implementation of child voice in child protection. The multiplicity of socio-cultural aspects of participation, policymaking, and practice with children is discussed in terms of an ‘ecosystem’ that draws attention to the complexity of structural and cultural conditions that influence child voice. Moreover, our understanding of child voice can be developed by making tangible the unarticulated politicisation of child voice that sits in the background of everyday practice.

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This chapter is a reflection on the methods and ethics of doing fieldwork with highly vulnerable children. Fired up with good intentions, a knowledge of children’s rights, and a belief in the necessity of child-focused anthropology, a quarter of a century ago I went to Thailand with the aim of working with child prostitutes. My naive intention was to explore the children’s lives and suggest solutions to the problems they faced. I found the reality very different from my expectations, and therefore this chapter looks at the lacuna between my theoretical knowledge of ethics and the difficulties I had making sense of them on the ground. Here I discuss how my feelings about this work have changed over time and I interrogate the mistakes I made during both fieldwork and ‘writing up’. The chapter looks at the strengths and weaknesses of child-centred anthropology, raising questions about how to interpret children’s voices when they do not fit with one’s own worldview or morality. In doing so it looks at the lifelong impacts such research can have on both researcher and researched and questions the purpose of such research and whose needs it fulfils

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