The Study of Children in Religions: A Methods Handbook

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NYU Press, Nov 1, 2011 - Religion - 325 pages
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Research in religious studies has traditionally focused on adult subjects since working with children presents significantly more challenges to the researcher, such as getting the research protocol passed by the Internal Review Board, obtaining permission from parents and schools, and figuring out how to make sense of young worldviews. The Study of Children in Religions provides scholars with a comprehensive source to assist them in addressing many of the issues that often stop researchers from pursuing projects involving children.

This handbook offers a broad range of methodological and conceptual models for scholars interested in conducting work with children.  It not only illuminates some of the legal and ethical issues involved in working with youth and provides guidance in getting IRB approval, but also presents specific case studies from scholars who have engaged in child-centered research and here offer the fruits of their experience. Cases include those that use  interviews and drawings to work with children in contemporary settings, as well as more historically focused endeavors to use material culture—such as Sunday school projects or religious board games—to study children’s religious lives in past eras.

The Study of Children in Religions offers concrete help to those who wish to conduct research on children and religion but are unsure of how to get started or how to frame their research.  
 

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Research in religious studies has traditionally focused on adult subjects since working with children presents significantly more challenges to the researcher, such as getting the research protocol passed by the Internal Review Board, obtaining permission from parents and schools, and figuring out how to make sense of young worldviews.The Study of Children in Religionsprovides scholars with a comprehensive source to assist them in addressing many of the issues that often stop researchers from pursuing projects involving children. This handbook offers a broad range of methodological and conceptual models for scholars interested in conducting work with children. It not only illuminates some of the legal and ethical issues involved in working with youth and provides guidance in getting IRB approval, but also presents specific case studies from scholars who have engaged in child-centered research and here offer the fruits of their experience. Cases include those that use interviews and drawings to work with children in contemporary settings, as well as more historically focused endeavors to use material culture--such as Sunday school projects or religious board games--to study children's religious lives in past eras. The Study of Children in Religionsoffers concrete help to those who wish to conduct research on children and religion but are unsure of how to get started or how to frame their research 

Contents

A Childist Approach to Theory and History
17
Religion and Youth in American Culture
33
Childrens Rights in Research about Religion and Spirituality
50
Using Ethnography to Talk
65
Methods for Hearing
80
Ritual Flunecy
108
What Cholos and Cholas
121
Exploring the as if
139
Using AdultGenerated Material about
187
Puritan Childrens
202
Black Children and Religion
220
The Baptism of a Cheyenne Girl
236
Examining Agency Discourses of Destiny and Creative Power
252
Memory Work and Trauma in Research on Children
267
Bibliography
285
About the Contributors
301

Catholic Childrens Experiences of Scripture and the Sacrament
157
Religion and Youth Identity in Postwar Bosnia Herzegovina
172

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About the author (2011)

Susan B. Ridgely is Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and the author of When I Was a Child: Children's Interpretations of First Communion.

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