Date of Submission



This qualitative study provided a group of experienced researchers the opportunity to reflect on their practice and the practice of research with children in Australia: to consider how they understand children and childhood; and how their research is underpinned and influenced by the assumptions they hold. It asked researchers to consider how factors in the research environment (i.e. funding bodies, ethics committees, the broader academic field) influenced their research practice: the tensions that they have encountered and navigated their way through the often complex and 'messy' world of children's research. The study highlighted the ways in which ‘vulnerability’, ‘competence’ and ‘participation’ are understood by the various players within the research field, and the tensions that exist when contradictory views emerge. It promotes reflexive practice as a way of managing theoretical and ethical tensions and creating new conceptions of childhood.


School of Arts and Sciences

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


390 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Arts and Sciences