International Journal of Qualitative Methods
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Although claims to “give voice” to children through qualitative inquiry seem morally just and have been largely framed by good intentions, critical scholarship has called for reflexive reconsiderations of such claims. Re/presentations of voice permeate published accounts of qualitative research with children; similarly, voice is a term invoked frequently in qualitative research with informants of all ages. In this article, we follow Spyrou’s notion of “troubling” to review, critique, and synthesize key works by critical child-focused scholars who have reflexively queried and worked with the epistemological and methodological limits of “giving voice” to children through qualitative inquiry. Building on the reviewed literature, as well as poststructural approaches to framing voice in research more generally, we briefly discuss how we have built on these critiques in our own research. In so doing, we join ongoing dialogues aimed at generating alternative approaches to theorizing and re/presenting children’s perspectives in qualitative inquiry more justly.