How Do Children Contextualize Their Well-Being? Methodological Insights from a Neighborhood Based Qualitative Study in Istanbul

  • Başak Akkan
  • Serra Müderrisoglu
  • Pınar Uyan-Semerci
  • Emre Erdogan


Built on a neighborhood-based qualitative study that was carried out in Istanbul, this article explores the use of complementary research methods that explore how children contextualize their well-being within the spatial boundaries of a particular social location. Therefore, spatiality is used as a methodological tool to understand children’s subjective construction of well-being embedded in a web of relations. Using the framework of the social studies of childhood that constructs child as an agent, the research study puts emphasis in involving children in the research process as active participants and encouraging them to build their own narratives that manifest authentic childhood experiences. A variety of methods that are developed according to the age of the child are used in this study like in-depth interviews based on spatial experiences, in-depth interviews with a projection method, thematic focus groups and photography study. They are designed to facilitate a participatory research process that encourages the child to think through the spaces (school, home, neighborhood, etc.) along with a web of relations that his/her well-being is embedded in. The spatial understanding of child well-being in relation to subjective and objective conditions is the focus of the analysis of the qualitative research.


Child well-being Spatiality Qualitative study Agency Participatory research Neighbourhood 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Başak Akkan
    • 1
  • Serra Müderrisoglu
    • 2
  • Pınar Uyan-Semerci
    • 3
  • Emre Erdogan
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Social Policy and Social Policy ForumBogaziçi UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentBogaziçi UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.International Relations DepartmentIstanbul Bilgi UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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