In the context of the current social and economic climate as well as debates regarding Scotland’s future post-2014, issues around identity and social justice come to the fore of political, theoretical and practical discussions. Issues concerning children and young people are at the heart of this debate, confronting researchers, practitioners and policy makers with challenges of how to address social inequalities and promote social justice for present and future generations.

Children and young people’s identities and inequalities are complex: a growing field of interdisciplinary research in the UK and beyond recognises that categories such as ethnicity, ‘race’, gender, social class, disability, sexuality and age intersect in intricate ways, shaping children’s social identities and impacting on their everyday life experiences. The way that identities and inequalities intersect has been framed in theory and research through the concept of ‘intersectionality’.

Intersectional perspectives recognise the heterogeneity of different groups and examine how certain groups are silenced from and marginalised by dominant political debates. Although intersectionality has been central in generating fruitful debates in social and political theory, its implications for the fields of children’s rights and childhood/family research and for policy and practice, in Scotland and beyond, have yet to be explored.


The key objectives of this project are to:

  • create meaningful knowledge exchange opportunities between children and young people, practitioners, policy makers and researchers from the interdisciplinary areas of children’s rights, social justice, social identities, childhood/family studies and intersectionality 
  • generate new knowledge and identify priorities for action by creating a new network for interdisciplinary and cross-sector exchange and collaboration, bringing together early career and established experts in the fields, for addressing children and young people’s inequalities in research, policy and practice
  • disseminate innovative research, policy and practice 
  • firmly put children and young people’s inequalities on the agenda in research, policy and practice

Programme Team

Dr Kristina Konstantoni, University of Edinburgh
Professor Geri Smyth, University of Strathclyde
Marlies Kustatscher, University of Edinburgh
Professor John Davis, University of Edinburgh
Sheila Hamilton, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People
Dr Akwugo Emejulu, University of Edinburgh
Dr Alison Hosie, Scottish Human Rights Commission
Dr Daniela Sime, University of Strathclyde

Final Report


Seminar videos