04 SES 06 B, Effective Provision: Improving Education
Parallel Paper Session
Biographical research where “young people at risk” tell their story in some respect, has increased in quantity in the last two decades. Such social or educational research quite regularly pays attention to gender, ethnicity or social class. Disability is however more rarely dealt with. Maybe this has to do with the voices of disabled people not having been taken seriously in previous research as well as in society at large (cf. Munger & Mertens 2011; Rönnberg et al. 2011). Other possible reasons might be that such research is considered to involve specific methodological difficulties and is associated with rigorous ethical vetting. In this paper we explore methodological and ethical challenges and research strategies concerning interviewing young people with diverse dis/abilities. Conceptually the paper draws on arguments for involving young people in biographical research and inclusive disability research. Some arguments relate to the idea that (disadvantaged) young people should be given a voice and can contribute to knowledge about their experiences, viewpoints and circumstances (cf. Bynes & Rickards 2011; Conolly 2008). Other motives are, for example, that biographical methods may bring research, practice and policy into closer connection (Chamberlain 2002) and that multiple voices makes it possible to see difficulties not only as individual but also as structural (Atkinson 1997). In previous inclusive research focusing on methodological issues there is, however, an angle that is mainly – and paradoxically – disregarded, i.e. that young peoples’ opinions about their research participation seem to be neglected in favour of researchers’ understanding of methodological challenges and strategies. Hence, the paper aims to increase the knowledge of disabled young peoples’ views on their research participation: What are their considerations and motives for the research participation? What critical aspects of the research participation do they identify? What are their opinions on how researchers should encounter young people? Finally, the authors discuss the importance of considering respondents’ views on their research participation to decide on research strategies to encounter challenges when interviewing young people with varying dis/abilities.
Atkinson, Dorothy (1997). An Auto/Biographical Approach to Learning Disability Research. Aldershot, Ashgate. Bynes, Linda J. & Rickards, Field W. (2011). Listening to the Voices of Students With Disabilities: Can Such Voices Inform Practice? Australasian Journal of Special Education, 35:1, 25-34. Chamberlayne, Prue (2002). Conclusions: social transition and biographical work. In: Chamberlayne, Prue; Rustin, Michael & Wengraf, Tom (eds). Biogra-phy and Social Exclusion in Europe. Experiences and life journeys. Bristol: Policy Press. Conolly, Anna (2009). Challenges of Generating Qualitative Data with Socially Excluded Young People. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 11:2, 201-214. Munger, Kelly M & Mertens, Donna M. (2011). Conducting Research with the Disability Community: A Rights-Based Approach. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 132: 23-33. Rönnberg, Jerker; Classon, Elisabeth, Danermark, Berth; Karlsson, Thomas (2011). Forskning om funktionsnedsättning och funktionshinder 2002-2010 (Research about impairment and disability 2002-2010). Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (in Swedish).
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