Rebecca Raby


Trained as a sociologist, I draw primarily on critical, feminist and relational, new materialist theorizing to study constructions of childhood and youth, particularly their effects and how they are experienced by children and youth themselves; privilege and discrimination in the lives of children and youth, especially as age intersects with gender, sexuality, race, and class; aspects of the sociology of education, including school disciplinary and surveillance practices and sex education; theories of agency, rebellion, and resistance among young people; and children and youth as participants within families, peer groups, on-line, at work, and more broadly. I have recently completed a project on participatory voice and youth on YouTube and another on children’s perceptions and experiences of the early months of the pandemic. I am currently completing a SSHRC-funded project on young people’s very first jobs (with Wolfgang Lehmann) and involved in another project on homeless children’s experiences of living in transitional housing (with Christine Tardif-Williams).

  • conceptualizations of childhood, teenagehood, and youth, and their effects, contradictions and selective application in ways that reproduce inequality
  • gender, race, class, sexuality and disability as they are experienced and intersect in the lives of children and youth
  • researching, theorizing and sometimes problematizing children’s agency, activism, participation, rights and resistance
  • the discipline, governance and regulation of children and youth, particularly in schools
  • qualitative methodology and methods, particularly in relation to children, childhood and youth
  • children, youth and early work


Tardif-Williams, C., Marinos, V., Zinga, D., Raby, R. & Pomerantz, S. (Forthcoming) Edited collection. Conceptualizing Children and Youth: Contexts, Constraints and Agency. AU Press.

Brock, D., Martin, A., Raby, R. & Thomas, M.P. (Eds.). (2019). Power and Everyday Practices (textbook). Second Edition. UTP.

Chen, X., Raby, R. & Albanese, P. (Eds). (2018). The Sociology of Childhood and Youth in Canada. Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Pomerantz, S. & Raby, R. (2017). Smart Girls: Success, School and the Myth of Post-Feminism. University of California Press.

Raby, R. (2012). School Rules: Obedience, Discipline and Elusive Democracy. University of Toronto Press.

Brock, D., Raby, R. and Thomas, M. (Eds.) (2012). Power and Everyday Practices. Nelson Education Ltd.

Book Chapters

Lehmann, W. & Raby, R. (Forthcoming). “Picturing work: Using photo elicitation to explore young people’s first jobs” submitted to e-book, Conceptualizing Children and Youth: Contexts, Constraints and Agency. AU Press.

Raby, R. & Lehmann, W. (2021). “Early teen-work assemblages and embedded dependence” in Forms of Collectivity Among Contemporary Youth: A Global Perspective, Eds. V. Cuzzocrea, B. Gook and B. Schiermer. Brill Publishers.

Raby, R. & Pomerantz, S. (2018). “Dress codes as gender politics: Feminist action in Canadian high schools” The Sociology of Childhood and Youth in Canada, Eds. X. Chen, R. Raby and P. Albanese, Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Raby, R. & Pomerantz, S. (2016). “Landscapes of academic success: Smart girls and school culture” in Girlhood Studies and the Politics of Place: Contemporary Paradigms for Research, Eds. C. Mitchell and C. Rentschler, Berghahn Books.

Pomerantz, S. & Raby, R (2015). “The post-nerd: Reading smart girls in post-feminist popular culture.” Girls, Texts, Cultures, C. Bradford and M. Reimer, Wilfred Laurier Press.

Raby, R. (2010). “The intricacies of power relations in secondary school disciplinary strategies” in Retheorizing Discipline in Education: Problems, Politics and Possibilities, Eds. Zsuzsa Millei, Tom Griffiths and Robert John Parkes, Peter Lang Publishing Group.

Millei, Z. & Raby, R. (2010). “Complicating understandings of the subject of discipline” in Retheorizing Discipline in Education: Problems, Politics and Possibilities, Eds. Zsuzsa Millei, Tom Griffiths and Robert John Parkes, Peter Lang Publishing Group.

Raby, R. (2009). “School Rules, Bodily Discipline, Embodied Resistance” in Canadian Perspectives on the Sociology of Education, Ed. Cynthia Levine-Rasky, Oxford University Press.

Raby, R. (2008). “Rights and responsibility: School conduct codes and the production of passive citizenship” in Children’s Rights: Theories, Policies and Interventions, Eds. Tom O’Neill and Dawn Zinga, University of Toronto Press.

van Vliet, J. & Raby, R. (2008). “Too little, too late: The right to comprehensive sexual health education in childhood and adolescence” in Children’s Rights: Theories, Policies and Interventions, Eds. Tom O’Neill and Dawn Zinga, University of Toronto Press.

Raby, R. (2007). “Across a great gulf? Conducting research with adolescents” in Representing Youth: Methodological Issues in Critical Youth Studies, A.L. Best, New York University Press.

Raby, R. (2006). “Talking (behind your) back: Girls and resistance” in Girlhood: Redefining the Limits, Eds Y. Jiwani, C. Mitchell and C. Steenbergen, Black Rose Books, Montreal.


Donison, L., Raby, R., Waboso, N., Sheppard, L., Grossman, K., Harding, E., Myatt, H. & Black, S. (forthcoming) “’I’m going to call my friend to join us’: Connections and challenges in online video call interviews with children during COVID-19” Children’s Geographies.

Donison, L. & Raby, R. (forthcoming) “I can definitely find ways to entertain myself. Like listening to music, I listen to a lot of music”: Children’s musical assemblages during COVID-19. Journal of Childhood Studies.

Davis, S., R.Raby, T.Vause, K. Thomson, M.Connolly. (forthcoming) “An Auto-Ethnographic Analysis of Power in a Behavior Analytic Informed Approach to Teaching Dance to Children” PHENex

Sheppard, L. and R. Raby. (2023) “Off track or on point? Side comments in focus groups with teens” Qualitative Research, 0(0).

Sheppard, L.C. & Raby, R. (2022). “Honestly, anywhere that I have Wi-Fi”: A posthuman approach to young women’s activist blogging” Girlhood Studies, 15(2), 53-70.

Waboso, N., Donison, L., Raby, R., Harding, E., Sheppard, L.C., Grossman, K., Myatt, H. & Black, S. (2022). “We can play tag with a stick”. Children’s knowledge, experiences, feelings and creative thinking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children & Society.

Raby, R., Waboso, N., Donison, L., Harding, E., Grossman, K., Myatt, H. & Sheppard, L.C. (2021). “School is closed! Opportunity, challenge, and inequality in the early days of the pandemic” Journal of Teaching and Learning, 15(2), 40-59.

Raby, R. & Sheppard, L.C. (2021). Constructs of childhood, generation and heroism in editorials on young people’s climate change activism: Their mobilisation and effects. Children and Society, 35(3), 380-394.

Easterbrook, R., Raby, R., & Lehmann, W. (2021). Navigating babysitting as liminal, gendered, and undervalued work. Childhood, 28(1), 103-117.

Varadi, A., Raby, R. & Tardif-Williams, C. (2020). Discourses of good motherhood and the policing of young parenthood. Women and Criminal Justice, 30(5), 374-390.

Khan, T. & Raby, R. (2020). From missing to misdirected: Foucauldian discourse analysis of young men’s experiences of sex education in Bangladesh. Sex Education, 20(6), 583-596.

Sheppard, L., Raby, R. & Lehmann, W. (2019). Grill guys and drive-thru girls: Discourses of gender in young people’s part-time work. Journal of Childhood Studies, 44(3), 56-69.

Pomerantz, S. & Raby, R. (2018). Girls, intra-active: Dynamic agency and the negotiation of smart girlhood. Gender and Education, 23(5), 549-564.

Caron, C., Raby, R., Mitchell, C., Prioletta, J., Théwissen-LeBlanc, S. (2018). How are civic cultures achieved through youth social-change-rriented vlogging? A multimodal case study. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 25(4), 694-713.

Raby, R., Lehmann, W., Helleiner, J. & Easterbrook, R. (2018). Reflections on using participant-generated, digital photo-elicitation in research with young Canadians about their first part-time jobs. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17(1) (open access) LINK

Raby, R., Lehmann, W., Helleiner, J. & Easterbrook, R. (2018) “I’ll be more prepared than most people”: Young people talking about their first jobs. Childhood 25(2), 237-252. LINK

Raby, R., Prioletta, J., Théwissen-LeBlanc, S., Caron, C., & Mitchell, C. (2017) Vlogging on YouTube: The social change-oriented voices of young Canadians. Journal of Youth Studies, 21(4), 495-512.

Caron, C., Raby, R., Mitchell, C., Théwissen-LeBlanc, S. & Prioletta, J. (2017). From concept to data: Sleuthing social change-oriented youth voices on YouTube. Journal of Youth Studies, 20(1), 47-62.

Bischoping, K., Chapman-Nyaho. S. & Raby, R. (2016) Linking Visuality to Justice through International Cover Designs for Discipline and Punish. The Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research, Volume 5:180-214.

Bablak, L., Raby, R. & Pomerantz, S. (2016). “I don’t want to stereotype… but it’s true’: Maintaining whiteness at the centre through the ‘smart Asian’ stereotype in high school. Whiteness in Education, 1(1), 54-68.

Raby, R. & Raddon, M. (2015). Is she a pawn, prodigy or person with a message? Public responses to a child’s political speech. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 40(2), 163-187.

Pomerantz, S. & Raby, R. (2015). Playing it down or playing it up: The pleasures and hazards of doing ‘smart girl’ in high school, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36(4), 507-525.

Raby, R. (2014). Children’s participation as neo-liberal governance? Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35(1), 77-89.

Pomerantz, S., Raby, R. & Stefanik, A. (2013). Girls run the world? Caught between sexism and post-feminism in the school. Gender and Society, 27(2), 185-207.

Pomerantz, S. & Raby, R. (2012). “Oh, she’s so smart”: Girls’ complex engagements with post-feminist narratives of academic success. Gender and Education, 23(5), 549-564.

Raddon, M., Sharpe, E. & Raby, R. (2010). The challenges of teaching qualitative coding: Can a learning object help?  International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 21(3), 336-350.

Raby, R. (2010). Public selves, inequality and interruptions: the creation of meaning in focus groups with teens.  International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 9(1), 1-15.

Raby, R. (2010). “Tank tops should be ok but I don’t want to see her thong”: girls, dress codes and the regulation of femininity. Youth and Society. 41. 333-356.

Raby, R. (2010). Theorising liminal selfhood and its consequences for childhood, youth and adulthood. Times of Our Lives: Making Sense of Growing Up and Growing Old. Eds. H. Blatterer and J. Glahn. eBook, Vol. 92 of the Probing the Boundaries Series “Making Sense Of”, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, pp. 69-77.

Domitrek, J. & Raby, R. (2008). Are you listening to me? Space, context and perspective in the regulation of Mp3 players and cell phones in secondary school. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 81, 1-33.

Raby, R. (2008). Frustrated, resigned, outspoken: Students’ engagement with school rules and some implications for participatory citizenship. International Journal of Children’s Rights, 16(1), 77-98.

Skott-Myhre, H., Raby, R. & Nikolaou, J. (2008). Towards a delivery system of services for rural homeless youth: A literature review and case study. Child and Youth Care Forum, 37(2), 87-102.

Raby, R. & Domitrek, J. (2007). Slippery as fish… but already caught? Secondary students’ engagements with school rules. Canadian Journal of Education. 30(3), 931-958.

Raby, R. (2007). Children in sex, adults in crime: Constructing and confining teens. Resources for Feminist Research/Documentation sur la recherche feministe, 31(3/4), 9 – 28.

Raby, R. (2005). What is resistance? Journal of Youth Studies, 8(2), 151-172.

Raby, R. (2005). Polite, well-dressed and on time: Secondary school conduct codes and the production of docile citizens. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 42(1), 71-92.

Raby, R. (2004). “There’s no racism at my school, it’s just joking around”: Ramifications for anti-racist education. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 7(4), 367-383.

Raby, R. (2002). Tangle of discourses: Girls negotiating adolescence. Journal of Youth Studies, 5(4), 425-450.