Studies of Childhood, Education and Youth (SOCEY) is a community of scholars working in the fields of childhood, education, and youth studies across a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Members of this community come from a wide range of intellectual frameworks, including history, sociology, education, cultural heritage, and the government sector. SOCEY developed from discussions between individuals working in this highly interdisciplinary field and the perceived need for a collective space within which to discuss research and ideas that crossed narrow academic disciplinary areas. Thus, the website acts as a platform to connect those working in this interdisciplinary field, encourage discussion about research and ideas, and showcase the projects, programs and people involved.
Our second, more focused, objective is to explore debates and possibilities surrounding qualitative research sharing and archiving in the humanities and social sciences, particularly in interdisciplinary studies of childhood, youth and education. SOCEY’s genesis was with a two-day research seminar in 2018 that explored the creative, ethical, practical, methodological and regulatory dimensions of the archiving, re-use and sharing of qualitative research data in the humanities field. For many, the sociology and history of childhood, education, and youth research is a central focus, but our interests also span humanities more broadly, extending to policy and the cultural sector – reflecting the evolving context in which we conduct and communicate our research.
The core interest in archiving and sharing of qualitative data is integral to the third aspect of this website, which provides a portal for the SOCEY Repository. This is a qualitative data archive, tailored specifically for studies childhood, youth and education, and developed in conjunction with the Australian Data Archive (ADA) and Social & Cultural Informatics Platform (SCIP). The Repository provides researchers with a much-needed digital space in which to store their research data and, if desired, to share this with others. The SOCEY Repository provides varying levels of access to data from open and shareable, to highly mediated, to completely closed and private, as determined by the depositor.
While an important aspect of SOCEY, the community operates separately to the repository and there is no onus on members to deposit research data.