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Title: Radical or neoliberal participation? : young people's perspectives within and beyond the arena of participation
Author: Maynard, Naomi Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 3117
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
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Over the last thirty years the practice of participation has become institutionalised. This has prompted fears it has become too distanced from its radical, grassroots origins, instead becoming a tool of governance that supports neoliberal agendas. This thesis examines this claim within the context of youth participation in the UK, paying attention to questions of space and time. Through a detailed examination of participatory practices within three youth participation organisations, using qualitative and participatory methods, I question the extent to which youth participation can be a tool for transformation when enacted within a society driven by individualising neoliberalism. Through analysing the transformation of adult-child relations within these organisations, I contend that spaces of youth participation are intergenerational spaces. The research unsettles the hierarchical binary between popular/invited spaces of participation by examining processes of conscientisation within invited spaces. I portray conscientisation as a spatial, relational and temporal process, examining how young people are constructed as individuals or a collective. I argue that organisations may be acting radically enough within these spaces, therefore reframing invited spaces as potentially desirable spaces of participation for those who feared participation had lost its radical agenda. To maximise effectiveness, ideas within both radical and neoliberal participation ideally must travel beyond the original arenas of participation. This movement of knowledge and resources across time and space is considered through the lens of youth transitions. By listening to the retrospective accounts of young adults previously involved in these organisations, I examine how they curate their past experiences to assist in competitive transitions. I identify three tactics to sustain (re)performances of empowerment and propose the concept of dormancy to describe how some (re)performances are stilted by complex transitions. This research discovers how, through small everyday acts, young adults slowly disseminate nuanced understandings of both radical and neoliberal participation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available