14 SES 13, Children as Members of a Community: Citizenship, Participation and Educational Development - Part II: The Community of Children: Oppositional and Harmonical Narratives
In the contemporary western world, the relationship of individuals and organizations with the City, i.e., the effective range of action each entity has, is clearly limited. This interferes with the process of producing practical and emotional meanings, since the messages that the City passes to those who inhabit it turn out to be that it is a space defined "in spite of people" and not "because of people". Nevertheless, cities are privileged spaces for the integral development of individuals and groups, because they are where one finds more, better and more diverse opportunities for acquiring knowledge and developing skills, and developing significant interactions that enable the construction of identity and the sense of “belonging”. In this paper, we will discuss the children's views about their role in the process of decision making about the management of city life, but also their perceptions about: the “physical” City, the City as a ground for exercising rights and duties and, finally, the City as a relational space, where neighborhood networks and collective memories are preponderant. For this, we will draw on the data gathered from six focus group discussions, attended by a total of 38 girls and 50 boys, ages 5 to 17.
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