BIN Conference 2014

Child Culture Research – an Interdisiplinary Scientific


The conference was held from 7 to 8 November 2014 at the University of Copenhagen and hosted by The Royal School of Library and Information Science (Informationsvidenskabelige Akademi – IVA).

BIN-Norden is the leading venue for researchers, practitioners and theorists to present recent results, share novel insights, and exchange ideas about children, childhood and child-culture in the Nordic Countries. The BIN-Norden conference series has a long-standing tradition of bringing together theoretical and practical approaches in an interdisciplinary dialogue. The conference draws from a range of fields related to humaniora, social science, arts, museum, library, media, sports, including pedagogy and psychology.

The conference was attended by 79 academics from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Island, demonstrating both the broad appeal and the Nordic nature of the conference.

The conference invited to a further discussion on Child Culture Research –How we can identify research in child culture as an interdisciplinary scientific topic? What characterizes the ontology, epistemology and methodology of research in child culture? What academic challenges are there? What are the underlying research interests related to child perspective and children’s perspective on child culture? And what is the usability of Nordic research in child culture? Which questions do we still need to ask and how we can strengthen our research by working across disciplines?

Earlier BIN-conferences have recognized that the UN treaty on the human rights of children opens a democratic dimension that impacts the lives of children and adults, which is not merely a rhetorical issue, rather requires social and political implementation. Children are an equal part of us and our communities that challenge laws, social and cultural practices.

Furthermore the network have recognized that there is a difference between cultures in general as well as cultural concepts and that a precision of and interaction between the concepts are essential for further knowledge and insight. Also the recognition of that psychological, sociological, educational and aesthetic perspectives and culture are not in competition, rather it is the interaction between them, which is essential to our production of knowledge in postmodern and often contradictory conditions.

Also this year the review process for the main academic program was selective. The steering group reviewed 55 submissions altogether.  48 papers, three workshops and 4 panels were accepted (one was withdrawn).

At the conference the opening speech was held by professor and leader of the BIN-Norden network, Jorunn Spord Borgen; Historical perspectives and visions for the future.

The key panel; Research in children and young people’s culture: an interdisciplinary scientific topic was moderated by Professor Herdis Toft. The panel consisted of; Professor Anna Sparrman, adjunkt Helle Skaroff Karoff, professor Pauline von Bonsdorff, professor Elin Eriksen Ødegaard and professor Herdis Toft.

The panels were furthermore divided into three thematic areas;

  1. Baby talk
  2. Play and Play culture
  3. New technology for aesthetic and literacy processes in a multicultural kindergarten

The paper presentations were divided into five thematic areas;

  1. Child Culture in a mediatized age
  2. Child Culture as a research field
  3. Methodological perspectives on research in child culture
  4. Child Culture and education
  5. Child culture, art and aesthetic processes

The reception was a full conference dinner and was held at the National Museum in Copenhagen.

The organizing committee consisted of Gitte Balling (Copenhagen University), Jorunn Spord Borgen (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences), Catharina Hällström og Ylva Lorentzen (Stockholm University), Helle Skovbjerg Karoff (Aalborg Universitet), Pauline von Bonsdorff (University of Jyväskylä), Liisa Karlsson (University of Eastern Finland), Hildur Yrlsberg (University of  Island), Elin Eriksen Ødegaard , Ida Lyså and Liv Torunn Grindheim(Bergen University College).

The conference was evaluated as a successful event. Results from the conference panels and papers  will eventually be distributed in more detail. The participants are invited to submit their papers in article format to the journal of Barn at Norsk senter for barneforskning and to BUKS – tidsskrift for børne- og ungdomskultur.

The next conference will be held at Lysebu, Oslo, Norway in November 2016.


Elin Eriksen Ødegaard