My research is concerned with how children and young people are affected by and contribute to societal development and change. For this I have studied young people’s role in migration, their engagement with schooling and (un)paid work, the role of mobile technologies in young people’s lives, popular culture and dance, young adults’ involvement in the gig economy, and young people’s engagement with the future through the concept of aspiration. In my research, I privilege the perspectives and experiences of children and youth and on this basis speak back to dominant ideas underpinning policy and practice. Much of my research takes an ethnographic approach and is mostly conducted in Southeast Asia (especially Laos) and Europe (especially the Netherlands). My research has been published in leading journals in Development Studies, Human Geography and Childhood & Youth studies, and in various books.
I have taught across the ISS MA programme in development studies, contributing to the field of social policy, childhood and youth studies, research technique courses (ethnography), and general introductory courses to development studies. I also regularly give guest lectures at other universities in the Netherlands and abroad. My teaching is research based and engages with the experiences students bring into the classroom. In order to engage students with diverse learning styles I use (audio)visuals in my teaching and have experienced with various forms of blended learning. My overall approach to teaching is to guide students through the learning material and in doing so help them find and construct their own learning pathways.