Children’s voices on work: some lessons from a developed economy

Sandy Hobbs, James McKechnie, Amanda Simpson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation


An understanding of the character of children’s work globally requires an analysis of its many forms, including what is typically found in relatively advanced economies where it is generally thought to be least problematic. Research shows that most children in Britain have some experience of paid employment before they complete secondary schooling. Previously we have considered health and safety aspect of working and the relationship between having a job a school performance. In this paper, we examine some of the findings of our recent attempts to explore the character of children’s jobs by combining interviews, self-report and observation. In interviews and in response to questionnaires working children tends to express the view that working can provide valuable learning opportunities which help to prepare them for adult working life. In an attempt to determine whether in this case “children’s voices” are correctly portraying their work, we have compared young workers accounts of their work with observation of their activities at work. We conclude that there is some evidence that for some children work does indeed provide useful learning opportunities. However, less positive aspects of children’s work must also be taken into account.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2010
EventXVII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Sociology on the Move - University of Gothenburg , gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 11 Jul 201017 Jul 2010


ConferenceXVII ISA World Congress of Sociology


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