Children's Perspectives on Economic Adversity: A review of the literature

Innocenti Discussion Papers 2008-01

Children's Perspectives on Economic Adversity: A review of the literature
  • Format
  • Author(s)
    • Redmond, Gerry;
  • Date of Publication
    • 2008
  • Pages
    • 23
  • IRC Stock Number
    • 453U
  • Publication Cost
    • free
  • Language
    • English


This paper reviews some of the recent qualitative literature on children's perspectives on economic disadvantage. The idea of asking people who experience disadvantage about their own situations is still a relatively new one in the social sciences, and the idea of asking children about their own perceptions of economic and social disadvantage is even more recent. Nine analyses, all published since 1998, and all of them involving in-depth interviews or group work with children aged between 5 and 17, are examined in detail. Most of these studies develop frameworks based on the 'new sociology of childhood', which emphasises the social construction of childhood and children's agency in the context of child-adult relations. The nine studies cover a number of issues related to economic disadvantage, including exclusion from activities and peer groups at school and in the community; perceptions of 'poor' and 'affluent' children; participation in organized activities outside of school hours; methods of coping with financial hardship; support for parents in coping and in seeking and keeping employment, and aspirations for future careers and lives.


Thematic area

Child Poverty   / 


children's opinion   /  disadvantaged children   /  economic discrimination   /  literature surveys   /