Troubling children's voices in research
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Contemporary Childhood Studies has celebrated the value of giving children a voice through research; children's voices have been used to establish their competence as members of society, as fully capable of reflecting and offering unique perspectives on their worlds; in short, as a means of recognising and establishing their agency. In this chapter, I draw on post-structuralist critiques of voice, which challenge its putative authenticity, treating it instead as a performative practice. I illustrate the value of troubling children's voices by looking at three features of voice ' the material, the contradictory and ambiguous and the silent ' which open up the possibilities for more nuanced and productive readings. From such a rethinking, children's voices escape the narrow confines of voiced utterances and enter a more fruitful conceptual space where we explore how children's voices happen.