15 SES 03 JS, Obstacles and Chances of International and Participatory Research
Joint Paper Session NW 7 and NW 15
Almost 15-17 % of the young population in is Denmark considered ‘at risk youth’. This number has remained constant throughout the last 20 years, and the consequences are that a large group of young people live lives disconnected from the realm of society. Furthermore, they will lack educational training, lack of labor market training and lack of more societal and social training when entering the adult world (SFI 2010/2014). In addition, an increased risk of becoming criminal or part of crime related problems are at hand. The Danish government, municipalities and a large number of civic organization is trying out different approaches and efforts due to the problem. Several researchers and research institutions and practitioners and their institutions has worked both with examining the efforts and their outcome and has been part of trying out different new (or known) approaches to the problem. From this, there is an extensive knowledge to be drawn. For one thing, the knowledge about involving the young people as a tool that creates results (Bladt 2013, Arnstein 1969), another thing the interdisciplinary, inter-professional and inter-sectorial cooperation as a form of collaboration that also increase the rate of success of the effort at hand (Edwards 2011). However there is not much research on how the structural, level has assimilated these different types of participation and collaboration as anything but yet another technique or mean embedded in a neoliberal effort to align the young people into a normalization strategy. The ladder being queried by both professionals, researchers and organizations as a sustainable strategy for work within the social sector (Arnkiel, Warreng, Nielsen, Schmidt and Sommer 2012). Is normalization or alignment the answer to these young people’s problems and problematic lives? Is creating subcultures? Or is the answer to create arenas in which the young people, themselves can experiment with how to reconnect with society? and in this is there a demand for change of society?
In this abstract, we will present a project connected to the field of ‘at risk youth’. The project is preoccupied with participation and sustainability on different levels. Firstly, the project will create knowledge on how to generate participatory processes for ‘at risk youth’. Secondly, the project will create knowledge on how professionals can work with participatory processes and thirdly the project will work on how to incorporate this participatory work forms into a structural level. In the project, there is a specific concept of participation at stake, which we call ‘Upturned participation’ (Nielsen and Nielsen 1997, see methodology). Upturned participation is a specific concept, which we strive to bring into a structural framing of the institutions general work and efforts with at risk youth. We are taking into account, that research shows that participation has become an inherent part of the global political rhetoric, and participative methods has become part of a huge industry within the management sector and consultancy work. This development has in some ways disconnected participation from the democratic agenda, which was an important part of both the Salamanca statement and the Convention on the Wrights of Persons with Dissablities (2006/2010). Putting forward the concept of upturned participation, is a way to connect once again to the notion of democracy and bringing it once again into welfare state strategy and the efforts connected to this?
Arnkiel et al (2012): daginstitutionen til hverdag – den upåagtede faglighed, frydenlund Arnstein, Sherry R. (1969): "A Ladder of Citizen Participation," JAIP, Vol. 35, No. 4, July 1969, pp. 216-224. Bladt, M. (2013): De unges stemme – udsyn fra en anden virkelighed. Ph.D. afhandling. ENSPAC. Roskilde Universitet Brydon-Miller et al (2003): Why actions research? Action research, vol 1(1), p9-28, Sage Publications Committee of the Wright of persons with disabilities, 2006, UN Elliott, J. (1995). Action research for educational change. Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press. Horton, Myles & P. Freire (1991): We make the road by walking. Conversations on education and social change: Temple University Marshall, J. (2001). Self-reflective inquiry practices. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.),Handbook of action research (pp. 433–439). London: SAGE. Nielsen, Kurt Aagaard Nielsen and Birger Steen Nielsen (2007). Demokrati og naturbeskyttelse – dannelse af borgerfællesskaber gennem social læring – med Møn som eksempel, Frydenlund Svensson, L., & Aagard Nielsen, K. (2006). A framework for the book. In K. Aagaard Nielsen & L. Svensson (Eds.), Action research and interactive research (pp. 13–45). Maastricht: Shaker Publishing. Park, P., M. Brydon-Miller, B. Hall & T. Jackson (Eds.) (1993), Voices of change: Participatory research in the United States and Canada. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey. Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (eds.) (2001): Handbook of action research. London: SAGE. SFI 2010/12014: http://www.sfi.dk/publikationer/sdq-and-quasi-sdq-for-children-in-the-danish-longitudinal-survey-of-children-dalsc-4594/ The Salamanca Statement and framework for action – on special needs educaton, 1994 Toulmin, Stephen and Bjørn Gustavsen(ed.) (1996). Beyond Theory. London. John benjamins publishing. Tofteng, D & Husted, M (2007): Respekt og realiteter. Ph.D. afhandling. ENSPAC. Roskilde Universitet
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