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Young people as partners in research: experiences from an interactive research circle with adolescent girls
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Qualitative Research, ISSN 1468-7941, E-ISSN 1741-3109, Vol. 13, no 5, p. 528-545Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents an interactive research methodology for young people's participation in research. A model of the research circle, based on the Scandinavian study-circle tradition with democratic ideals, was created and is described. The empirical example is from Sweden. Academic researchers invited young people to be research partners in a research circle. The asymmetrical relationship between the researchers and the young research partners made asymmetric responsibility and respect into central parts of the methodology. The interactive process in the research circle concerns research fundamentals: developing methodological knowledge, designing a study, how to formulate the research questions from the viewpoint of young people, how to analyze from a generational insider perspective, and how to handle institutionalized and asymmetric power relations in social knowledge formation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 13, no 5, p. 528-545
Keywords [en]
Action research, children, children's rights, interactive research, methodology, participation, Sweden, young people
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32399DOI: 10.1177/1468794112451035ISI: 000324535000003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84884367415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-32399DiVA, id: diva2:664416
Available from: 2013-11-15 Created: 2013-11-15 Last updated: 2018-05-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. "Participation is everything": young people's voices on participation in school life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Participation is everything": young people's voices on participation in school life
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis shows that participation is an important and comprehensive concept for young people. The aim of the thesis is to explore young people’s perspectives on and experiences of participation in school. Young people are in this research project understood as competent participants and as valuable contributors in research. Young people (aged 13–19 years) are involved as both research partners and research respondents. The design is explorative and mixed methods are used. Study 1 describes an interactive research circle with young people as research partners. Participation and asymmetric responsibility are identified as integral to research with young people. Study 2 describes a youth survey about young people’s participation that was conducted by the research partners in the research circle. This study shows that young people’s opportunities and abilities to communicate are crucial to their participation.  Supportive relations are an important aspect and the young people describe that they want adults to support them in taking responsibility themselves. Study 3 is based on the results of the youth survey and describes a model of young people’s perspectives on participation. Viewed from young people’s perspectives, participation is shown to include social, educational and decision-making dimensions. Communication is identified as a central participatory dimension. This study describes how participation in school is created in both horizontal and vertical relations. Study 4 is about participation and exposure to bullying and threats in school and is informed by the results of the youth survey. This study shows how students with disabilities and especially students with multiple disabilities are in a vulnerable situation. They face greater risks of being excluded from participatory dimensions in school or of being more exposed to degrading treatment if they do participate. Girls with multiple disabilities seem to be in an extra vulnerable situation. Overall, this research project shows that young people’s perspectives are an important complement to adults’ perspectives on participation in school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. p. 143
Series
Örebro Studies in Social work, ISSN 1651-145X ; 14
Keywords
children’s rights, human rights, participation, youth, interactive research, mixed methods, communication, intersectionality, disability
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35795 (URN)978-91-7529-041-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-10, Långhuset, Hörsal 2, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-07-24 Created: 2014-07-24 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Åkerström, JeanetteBrunnberg, Elinor

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