Interviewing Children form Enclaves of Poverty
Dept. of Applied Sociology and Social Work Institute of Sociology, University of Lodz Lodz, Poland
The rate of child poverty in Poland is the highest in EU countries. Lodz, with 750.000 inhabitants is the third largest city in Poland. The studies on poverty and social exclusion are conducted in this very city and the Lodz region from the early 1990s. Last years several enclaves of child poverty were identified in urban and rural areas in Lodz's vojevodship. At the beginning of 2009, within the research project titled -Strengthening opportunities and weakening transmission of poverty among inhabitants of towns of the Lodz province -, 50 in-depth interviews were made with the children supported by the welfare system. The interviewed children are pupils of the 6th grade of grammar school. All of them come from socially excluded families. The interviewees have been questioned on their everyday life, educational career, living conditions, neighbourhood, family issues, social networks, their problems and dreams. These interviews have been conducted by sociologists and doctoral students. It was the first experience the research team had in interviewing children within the framework of sociological research. The situations of the interviews made with deeply deprived children have provoked many important questions about the interviewer?s social role and professional responsibility. The paper will present the ethical and methodological problems connected with researching children endangered by the process of marginalization.