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Book cover: Sociological Studies of Children and Youth

Sociological Studies of Children and Youth

ISSN: 1537-4661
Series editor(s): Loretta E. Bass

Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy

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“And no flowers grow there and stuff”: Young children's social representations of poverty

Document Information:
Title:“And no flowers grow there and stuff”: Young children's social representations of poverty
Author(s):Carin Neitzel, Judith A. Chafel
Volume:13 Editor(s): Heather Beth Johnson ISBN: 978-1-84950-734-9 eISBN: 978-1-84950-735-6
Citation:Carin Neitzel, Judith A. Chafel (2010), “And no flowers grow there and stuff”: Young children's social representations of poverty, in Heather Beth Johnson (ed.) Children and Youth Speak for Themselves (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.33-59
DOI:10.1108/S1537-4661(2010)0000013006 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item

Purpose – The study reported here analyzed the meanings that 8-year-old children of different demographic backgrounds constructed about poverty.

Methodology/approach – Six children with different demographic profiles were selected from a larger study for closer examination of their conceptions of poverty (Chafel & Neitzel, 2004, 2005). Content analysis was used to arrive at an in-depth interpretation of the children's ideas expressed in response to a story about poverty and interview questions.

Findings – The children communicated perspectives about poverty that appear to reflect their demographic profiles. Yet, they also shared a common ideology about the poor different from the dominant societal view.

Research implications – By selecting typical children, recognizing the interrelatedness of sources of influence, and considering the data holistically, it was possible to achieve an in-depth understanding of the children's conceptions.

Originality/value of paper – With insight into the more humane conceptions that children have about the poor, adults can take steps to nurture these ideas so that as they grow older children continue to oppose discrimination and challenge the status quo.

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