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technical paper

AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

Using Comparative Methods with Young Children

keywords:

latinas/os

children and youth

ethnography

This session explores approaches to ethnographic research with young children using decolonizing, antiracist, and humanizing lenses. Historically, children have not been positioned as experts and holders of their own truths in social science research, particularly in research conducted by Western scholars (Graue & Walsh, 1995; Mason & Hood, 2011). Rather, children are often framed as recipients of cultural socialization (Dyson, 2016) - preparing to be contributing members of a community, but not yet full members (Leggett & Ford, 2016; Payne, 2018). These views of children are doubly disenfranchising to children of color whose communities are often additionally marginalized by local and global systems of colonization and racism (Pérez, Medellin & Rideaux, 2016; Pérez & Saavedra, 2017). The papers presented in this session refute such deficit views of children, specifically Latinx and indigenous children, and provide examples of ways that ethnographic fieldwork can center children’s everyday lived experiences, perspectives, desires, interests, values, curiosities, and worldviews. Each paper is summarized below and offers theoretical and methodological approaches to ethnographic research with young children that attend to the developmental and cultural ways that Latinx and indigenous children learn, communicate, and contribute to their communities. Using Comparative Methods with Young Children considers the ways that video-cued ethnography, as a comparative method, repositions children from insiders to outsiders, piques their interest, and unlocks the language to describe their experiences by showing them a novel video that they can respond to, relate to, disagree with, or critique. Latinx Children’s Cultural Ideas about Building Community and Relationships uses the Learning by Observing and Pitching In framework to analyze ethnographic data in which bilingual Latinx preschoolers routinely participated in cultural processes that reflected their experiences at home and their understanding of their world. Ethnographic Fieldwork through Experiential Knowledge and Multimodal Projects with Young Latinx Children explores ethnographic data collected in a bilingual first grade class in which multimodal family projects created by first graders were used to prompt dialogues revealing children’s opinions, perspectives, and insights regarding their life experiences in natural settings and with little facilitation from adults. Amplifying Maya Children's voices through Participatory Action Research discusses the potential of combining ethnographic work and participatory action research to better understand the organization of children’s daily experiences and their development of collaborative practices, specifically drawing from Yucatec Maya children’s experience collaborating with each other in a long-term task aimed to make school improvements. Privileging Young Children's Critique Through Humility and Video-Cued Ethnography shows examples of how the video-cued ethnographic method can work with young children and the importance of analysis with humility when trying to recognize and understand the responses and critique of young children.

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