07 SES 03 A, Citizenship Education Part 2
Paper Session continued from 07 SES 02 A
This paper proposes a reflection and analysis about how creative and artistic experiences can encourage social networks, dialogue, expression and an opportunity for young people involved to be protagonists of processes of citizen participation, collective action in the context of the public space of their city and in their school. It is also intended to analyze in what way these creative practices can facilitate teamwork and learning in non-formal and socially vulnerable contexts. Some of the challenges are to promote research skills, develop creativity, human and social relations and participation between the young group. Similarly, it is relevant to contribute to a reflection and a discussion about citizenship education, social ties, social justice and co-production of social knowledge.
The research project, on the basis of this proposal, intends to understand how young people from Porto relate to their city, what social ties they establish among themselves and the community and if and how they practice citizenship. Highlighting current issues related to social, political and economic tensions and instabilities and how it affects young people, regarding the building of social ties and the conjecture about youth apathy and lack of interest towards conventional forms of citizen participation and political issues, this project brings to the fore a close perspective of a group of young people based on creative, participatory and collaborative research processes.
In the context of today's European society, between the diversity and the inability to mitigate the inequalities and social injustices (Santos, 2005) we face the challenge of inclusion and social justice. We also verified there has been a weakening of community relations, horizontal social ties and solidarity (Paugam, 2001). The city is faced as a place of human and social relations, becoming therefore also a living and dynamic territory of sharing, communication and interaction (Lefebvre, 2008). However, at the same time, the urban spaces are one of the targets of unequal appropriations, which, for the most part, instigate asymmetric power relations and situations of social exclusion (Young, 2002; Queirós, 2007). In Porto, like other European cities, these tensions are felt. In this context, the role of networks and social ties in the process of social cohesion and political participation are fundamental for the composition of a solid core of connections, where spaces of dialogue about public issues and interests are provided (Iglic & Fábregas, 2007).
Considering the relevance of citizenship practice, intercultural education and that young people may have an important role in the development of the communities, it is imperative to do a deep and transversal reflection about aforementioned issues, given how they may affect the current society.
Young people make up a social group constituted by a diversity of identities and cultures, essential in the construction of communities (Pais, 2003). In a set of transitional processes, "undergoing several tensions, young people seek to construct biographies" (Silva, 2010, p.35) of themselves, designing different paths and possibilities, testing and appropriating resources for expression and representation of their multiple subjectivities and ways of seeing and living the world, namely their relations with the society that surround them and the construction of their actions as social and political actors.
The affirmation and practice of the rights of citizenship of the young people is an opportunity for these groups to use several resources, to light up their voice, creating new forms of expression and action contributing for new educational experiences and social intervention (Madeira, 2013). Thus, recognizing the diversity of young people and considering the multiplicity of their voices and the contexts in which they are produced is a way of understanding how these young people build their citizenship (Macedo, 2018).
This research project proposes the production of knowledge from qualitative research, towards the production and co-construction of intersubjective and situated knowledge with a group of young people. Based on the methodological approach of participatory action research (PAR), the present research builds on focus group discussions, photovoice, walking tours, biographical narratives, participant observation, collective dynamics and a set of artistic and creative workshops. In this proposal, focus will be given to artistic methods developed with three groups of young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, some from Porto social housing’s. Highlighting the field research made during five months from artistic and creative methods, will be presented some results of research sessions where theatrical, musical, photographic and creative writing activities were applied to enable the young group to appropriate the world around them, to think about it, to feel it, to dream it, to construct meaning. In these set-ups, spaces of meeting, reflection and co-creation can be built where young people among their peers strengthen their interpersonal relations, develop feelings of belonging, unity and trust, important for stimulating their involvement in society. Art as a creative and reflective process through multidisciplinary experiences can be a challenge and an opportunity for inclusion and cooperation among young groups, especially for working in socially fragile and vulnerable areas (Macedo, Clough, & Santos, 2017). In line with what is intended in this research, presuming a collective and collaborative creation, PAR, together with artistic methodologies, presumes a continuous interaction between reflection and action and vice versa. The young participants are considered actors and co-authors of their stories and experiences of life, able to think, participate, choose and decide about their paths and to lead a change of social practices (Bryman, 2012). From the methodological point of view, PAR "is considered as an intersubjective space, where multiple practical, conceptual, imaginary and empathic forms of knowledge converge through shared processes of knowledge production, between researchers and researched" (Soares, 2006, p.29). So, this methodological model seeks to generate knowledge from analysis and interpretation of people experiences and perspectives and seeks to contribute to the permanent learning from multidisciplinary activities and a better understanding of social reality. The development of creative experiences of non-formal learning by artistic methodologies is a participatory process of co-production of knowledge and, at the same time, of awakening awareness on human and citizenship rights among young people.
With this research, it is expected a co-creation of plural places to share new educational experiences and self-expression, where young people can have visibility and voice, participate in decision making and propose creative solutions to the problems that affect them. There is a perspective of co-production of knowledge with the participating research group, based on the construction of social storytelling about the diversity of experiences and cultures of this group, its relationship with its community and its city. It is also expectable that the creative and collective process of research, besides awakening competences of self-management, collaboration and democratic practice, can generate a base for the strengthening of citizenship and for human and social development. It is hoped that the young participant researchers gain autonomy and inspiration to share and to build new creative and artistic ways to act and participate socially and politically, debating issues related to social justice, citizenship and intercultural education. It is expected that the public space will be occupied by the young participants as a stage of collective actions led by the youth group, by means of creative manifestations related to experiences in the city such as theater and musical performances or photography exhibitions. The data co-produced during the research will be analysed and published on a collaborative and interactive online communication platform, to generate a network of proximity between the young group and the community of the neighbourhoods, the remaining city and other cities in the country and in Europe.
Bryman, Alan. (2012). Social Research Methods. New York: Oxford University Press. Iglic, Hajdeja, e Joan Font Fábregas. (2007). Social networks. In Citizenship and Involvement in European Democracies, de Jan W. van Deth, José Ramón Montero e Anders Westholm, 188 - 218. New York: Routledge. Lefebvre, Henri. (2008). O direito à Cidade. 5ª. Centauro Editora. Macedo, Eunice. (2018). Vozes jovens entre experiência e desejo: que lugares de cidadania?. Porto: Afrontamento. Macedo, Eunice, Nick Clough, e Sofia Almeida Santos. (2017). Engaging vulnerable young people in education through the arts - Challenges and opportunities. Educação, Sociedade e Culturas, Nr. 50, 7 - 14. Madeira, Rosa. (2013). A Participação das Crianças na esfera pública: a desigualdade social como desafio. Rediteia nº 46 - Bem-Estar Infantil - Revista de Política Social 147-165. Pais, José Machado. (2003). Culturas Juvenis. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional - Casa da Moeda. Paugam, Serge. (2001). O enfraquecimento e ruptura dos vínculos sociais. In As Artimanhas Da Exclusão: Análise Psicossocial e Ética Da Desigualdade Social, de Bader Sawaia, 67 - 86. Editora Vozes. Queirós, João. (2007). Estratégias e discursos políticos em torno da reabilitação dos centros urbanos - Considerações exploratórios a partir do caso do Porto. Sociologia - Problemas e Práticas, Nº 55, 91 - 116. Santos, Boaventura Sousa. (2005). O Fórum Social Mundial. Porto: Afrontamento. Silva, Sofia Marques da. (2010). Da Casa da Juventude aos Confins do Mundo: Etnografia de fragilidades, medos e estratégias juvenis. Porto: Edições Afrontamento. Silva, Sofia de Lurdes Rosas. (2007). O Caminho é a Cidadania: Investigação-Ação, Contributos de uma Dinâmica Educativa In Ramos (coord.). Educação para a Cidadania Europeia com as Artes Coimbra: Grupo de Investigación HUM-742 D.E.Di.C.A. – Desarrollo Educativo de las Didácticas en la Comunidad Andaluza; Universidad de Granada; Center for Intercultural Music Arts. Soares, Natália Fernandes. (2006). A Investigação Participativa no Grupo Social da Infância. Currículo sem Fronteiras, V.6, Nr.1, 25 - 40. Young, Iris Marion. (2002). Inclusion and Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.
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