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Title: Non-participation in public engagement with science : a study of four socio-economically disadvantaged, minority ethnic groups
Author: Dawson, Emily
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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In the UK relationships between the sciences and society are increasingly managed via attempts to encourage ’public’ engagement with science (PES). Opportunities to engage with science are however, not accessible to everyone. This qualitative study explored the experiences of people from socio-economically disadvantaged, minority ethnic groups, who are underrepresented in PES audiences. The original contribution to knowledge of this thesis is an empirically based analysis of why participants from such backgrounds do not participate in PES, an understanding of which was previously missing from the field. -- Adults from the London borough of Southwark were recruited for this exploratory study from four minority ethnic community groups; a Sierra Leonean group (n=21), an Asian group (n=13), a Somali group (n=6) and a Latin American group (n=18). Over a one-year period participants took part in focus groups, interviews, accompanied visits to PES activities and participant observation, following an ethnographic approach. Theoretical tools from the work of Bourdieu formed the overarching framework for the analysis, augmented by perspectives from intersectional research on social disadvantages, migration studies, identity theories and theories of learning. Three lenses were used to examine non-participation in PES; (1) social context and social positions; (2) personal views and experiences, and; (3) PES in practice. -- The findings of this study suggest that non-participation in PES is complex. Participation in PES was limited by the daily struggles of participants’ lives as migrants in London, by their attitudes towards science, politics, science education and PES institutions, by identifiable PES practices and by the relationships between participants’ social positions and the structure of PES as a field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available