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Anthropology of Children and Youth Network (ACYNet)

Background

The impetus to form this Network (and the preceding Working Group) in June 2009, is the neglect of the voices, perceptions and realities of children and youth in research and practice. The Anthropology of Children and Youth Network was formed in March 2012, and chaired by Sandra J.T.M. Evers until 2017. To-date it has organized monthly seminars promoting child- and youth-oriented theory, methodology, and research ethics; and it has served as a platform for (interdisciplinary) academic research and enhances dialogue with practitioners through joint research projects, publications and conferences.

Rationale

In anthropological works, youth, and especially children, have commonly been depicted as objects of adult care and education and, consequently, as secondary or unreliable informants. It is our epistemological stance that children and youth are simultaneously: (i) agents in processes of socialization in their local settings; (ii) interpreters and agents of society and culture; and (iii) creators of their own worlds. The concepts of childhood, children and youth are defined within their relational, social and cultural contexts; the concepts also make sense within a global and universalistic framework implemented by a plurality of actors, institutions and the Children’s rights. The Network brings together academics and practitioners engaged in research and work with children and youth in order to improve fundamental knowledge and potential action on society.

Aims

The Network promotes child- and youth-oriented theory, methodology, epistemology, and research ethics in anthropology. It also enhances dialogue between academics, institutions and practitioners. To this end, various activities are organized:

The Network also wishes to inspire research and joint research projects, publications and conferences; and promote the role and place of anthropology of childhood, children and youth in the public debate.

Membership

The Network has over 400 members, most of them anthropologists laboring for the integration of the anthropology of childhood, children and youth into mainstream anthropology. If you are interested to join the network, please contact the Network convenors.

Convenors

Élodie Razy, Associate Professor, ULiège, Belgium
Charles-Édouard de Suremain, Researcher, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France