Mapping Children’s Life-Worlds: A Content-Analytical Study of Drawings of Favourite Gifts
What children count as their favourite things tell us not only about children but also about their social and cultural experiences. This study, based on the outcomes of a children’s drawing competition organised by the Estonian National Museum and applying a combined framework of visual sociology and participatory research, proposes an innovative angle to using the museum’s experimental approach to contemporary collecting of cultural heritage. This large-sample (n=926) content-analytical study of children’s favourite gifts gives a rich ethnographic and sociological perspective on children’s life-worlds. On the one hand, the children’s wishes reflected contemporary global trends in technology and commercialisation. On the other hand, the children’s prevailing dream of having a pet shows loneliness shaped by societal changes, including urbanisation and changing family models and time regimes.