Emotion Space Society CoverSpecial Issue Proposal: Emotion, Space and Society
Call for Paper on the Emotional Relations of Children’s Participation Rights

This special issue [currently at proposal stage] will explore the role of emotional relations in how children and young people’s participation rights are embraced, contested, realized, resisted and experienced. Researchers in this field have consistently called for more in-depth and nuanced analyses of the way participatory rights are actually lived and experienced by children and young people, within the complexity of interdependent relationships. This special issue seeks to continue this project by specifically drawing out the emotional elements of participatory work with children and young people.

Emotions have increasingly been studied through a relational lens, by sociologists and human geographers, as ‘one of the driving forces of human behaviour, interaction, and social organization’ (Stets and Turner 2014, p.1). Rather than locate emotions solely in the individual psyche, here emotions are theorised in relational ways—arising through, and formative of, bodily relationships between self and others, and between self and the world (Ahmed 2014, Burkitt 2014). A small body of research (Thomas 2012, Teamey and Hinton 2014, Alderson 2008, Tisdall 2016, Kina 2012) has began to pay attention to the emotional relations involved in participatory research processes. This research has highlighted the ethical responsibility of researchers to ensure the emotional wellbeing of child participants (e.g. Davis 1998) and of the researchers themselves (e.g. Bowtell et al. 2013, Gaskell, 2008). Emotional reflexivity on the part of researchers, with regards to relations of power, their own impact on the research context, and data generation and analysis, has become an accepted premise for research integrity and quality (Blaisdell 2015, Punch 2012, Kina 2012, Procter 2013). More broadly, feminist geographers have challenged the notion of rationality and emotional neutrality in research, and highlighted the role of emotions for the production of knowledges (e.g. Bondi 2005). Only a few studies to date have focused on children’s own emotional experiences of participatory research (e.g. Hadfield-Hill and Horton 2014; Procter 2013), and there is thus a need for research that considers the role of emotions in participatory research more comprehensively.

This Special Issue proposal for Emotion, Space and Society seeks to bring together debates on emotions and children’s participation rights in a more systematic way in order to explore why and how emotions matter in relation to children’s participation rights. We particularly welcome contributions from Majority World countries and other sociocultural contexts that are under-represented in academic publishing.

Papers are welcome in relation, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Emotions and conceptualizations of participation rights/children and young people as rights holders;
  • Relational entanglements, interdependence, and emotionality of children’s rights;
  • Postcolonial and decolonial perspectives on children’s rights, participation and emotion;
  • Emotionality in children’s participation in consultations or law proceedings;
  • Emotions and the material, embodied and spatial relations of participation;
  • Emotions, ethics and participatory methodological approaches in research with children and young people;
  • Intersectional analyses of emotions and participation;
  • Tensions, ethical complexities and unsatisfactory outcomes;
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of emotions and participation rights.

Authors will be asked to consider the following questions in their work:

  • How does the article conceptualize emotions, and the linkages between emotions and children’s participation rights?
  • What are the theoretical, practical or methodological implications of bringing together debates on emotions and children’s participation rights, in the field that the article addresses?

We also welcome proposals for shorter Creative / Intervention pieces with emotions at their heart; for example, collaborations between academics and practitioners, artists, activists, individuals. For more information see: https://www.elsevier.com/journals/emotion-space-and-society/1755-4586/guide-for-authors

How to submit your abstract for this proposal:

Abstracts of not more than 250 words, authors and affiliations should be sent to Yan.Zhu@ed.ac.uk no later than Friday, 15 March 2019.

Notification of acceptance to the proposal: No later than Monday, 15 April 2019.

Full proposal submitted to Emotions, Space and Society Monday, 6 May 2019.

Full papers (6,000 words) or creative submissions (up to 4,000 words) will be expected in early 2020 (TBC).

Guest editorial team
Dr Cara Blaisdell, University of Strathclyde
Dr Marlies Kustatscher, University of Edinburgh
Prof Kay Tisdall, University of Edinburgh
Yan Zhu, University of Edinburgh

CFP – Special Issue of Emotion, Space and Society: Emotional Relations of Children’s Participation Rights