Youth participation practice in North Ayrshire, Scotland from a Freirean perspective

Sheridan, Louise Ann (2018) Youth participation practice in North Ayrshire, Scotland from a Freirean perspective. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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There is a desire in policy, to encourage young people to take part in Youth Participation Practice (YPP). More insight is needed in approaches to YPP that enable meaningful and positive experiences for young people and communities. This qualitative study investigates youth participation practice in North Ayrshire Council in Scotland. Theories and principles from Paulo Freire (1996; 2000) form the framework for analysis. The study examines what young people and youth workers define the purpose of YPP to be; investigates the approaches that are used; and analyses what participants define as the benefits and outcomes of YPP for young people and communities. Through two focus groups with young people, 22 semi-structured interviews with young people, youth workers and Ruth Maguire, an elected member in North Ayrshire, themes were identified. These include the notion of young people feeling ‘connected’, being ‘enabled’ and feeling ‘transformed’ through their involvement in YPP. Freire’s notion of armed love has been interpreted and redefined as the term ‘alfirmo’, which is the act of caring for, nourishing and supporting people, while asserting belief in their ability as agents of change. This study found that ‘alfirmo’ is embodied by youth workers and noticed by young people who have taken part in YPP in North Ayrshire Council. Through the embodiment of ‘alfirmo’, young people in this study feel connected to peers and youth workers and enabled to undertake many tasks such as presenting in front of peers and adults. Through their experiences in YPP, young people expressed that they have gone through a personal transformation, with a greater sense and feeling of confidence as a key example.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Youth participation, love, Paulo Freire, critical consciousness, empowerment.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Supervisor's Name: Read, Dr. Barbara
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Louise A Sheridan
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-9085
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2018 08:56
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2018 14:01

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