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Researching youth participation – theoretical and methodological limitations of existing research and innovative perspectives

Abstract : In both youth research and pedagogical literature, and especially in related policy arenas, the perspectives often combine normative and analytical aspects, and the concept of participation is sometimes used uncritically, legitimised by a powerful discourse in which young people are addressed as the future of society. This chapter provides theoretical and methodological perspectives that help to deconstruct the ideological lenses through which participation is continually reproduced in ways defined by powerful institutional actors, and from there reconstruct the meaning of participation starting from the perspective of the participants, especially young people. An understanding of democracy is important in studying ways of youth participation that might not be recognised as such by conventional understandings of participation. Apart from participatory observation, group discussions can give access to practical knowledge of young people by reconstructing they refer to each other and the shared meanings of their activities in public spaces. Most processes of institutionalisation of youth participation are related to youth policies.
Keywords : Youth
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 11:06:10 AM
Last modification on : Friday, January 17, 2020 - 1:37:43 AM

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Andreas Walther, Axel Pohl, Patricia Loncle, Nigel Patrick Thomas. Researching youth participation – theoretical and methodological limitations of existing research and innovative perspectives. Young People and the Struggle for Participation, Routledge, pp.13-33, 2019, ⟨10.4324/9780429432095-2⟩. ⟨hal-02441858⟩

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