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Resource Theories CO:RE at LSE Published: 01 Sep 2022

How was the toolkit developed?

The toolkit was developed with input from many colleagues and we are grateful for your insights and contributions.  

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Video: Sonia Livingstone - What is theory and what is it for?

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Collating and evaluating models and drafting a concept: we collated examples of toolkits that could serve as models for developing the theory toolkit. Based on this, we created a concept for our theory toolkit and pinpointed desirable features. We discussed and improved it with the help of the CO:RE consortium.

A formal consultation: we carried out a formal consultation seeking input from a range of early career and established researchers and research users across different disciplines. The consultation aimed to explore their interests in theory, existing struggles, and needs. We also discussed the toolkit concept, plan, and visuals. The participants were also able to suggest good examples and resources.

Implementation, quality control and updates: We used the findings to develop the toolkit structure and content, following a quality control procedure. After a soft launch, the toolkit was formally evaluated and updated based on the suggestions. To identify gaps and update the toolkit, we held an open online consultation on “theories in circulation.” We also invited external contributions from selected experts.

What do we want to achieve with the theory toolkit?

To harness the multidisciplinary potential and to learn from the existing insights, the CO:RE theory toolkit aims to:

  • Develop and promote a series of tools to support theoretical development for use by researchers now and in the future.

  • Identify a range of disciplinary perspectives relevant to understanding the technological transformations now reconfiguring the lives of children and young people, together with their main contributions and points of mutual difference.

  • Interrogate the specific theoretical and conceptual assumptions currently shaping research in this domain, mapping their diversity and weighing their significance.

  • Bring together contrasting disciplinary perspectives on core topics or concepts in a process of fruitful deliberation to identify synthetic solutions useful to researchers, practitioners and policymakers.

  • Pinpoint how new theories, ideas or disciplinary perspectives can refresh established lines of inquiry or challenge familiar assumptions, aiding innovation and advancement in the field.

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About the tookit creators

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

The team at the LSE works on theory, providing a series of mutually cross-fertilising mechanisms to coordinate and support the theoretical dimension of research. The team identifies valuable theoretical concepts that offer multidisciplinary breadth and depth in understanding the long-term impact of digital media on children and youth, and coallates all in a comprehensive theories toolkit that provides guidance throughout the theory pathway, from (research) question to generating theory.


Sonia Livingstone

Sonia Livingstone DPhil (Oxon), FBA, FBPS, FAcSS, FRSA, OBE, is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK). She currently directs the projects “Children’s Data and Privacy Online,” “Gobal Kids Online” (with UNICEF) and “Parenting for a Digital Future”, and she is Deputy Director of the UKRI-funded “Nurture Network.” Since founding the 33 countries EU Kids Online research network, Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Europe, OECD and UNICEF, among others, on children’s internet risks, safety, media literacy and rights in digital environments. She blogs at She is leader of the CO:RE work package 5 on theory.


Mariya Stoilova

Mariya Stoilova is a post-doctoral researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) working on children’s rights, online risks and opportunities, and well-being. She is member of the CO:RE work package 5 on theory.

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