Prof Dr. Andreas Walther - Participation or non- participaton ?

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Workshop on Participation of Young People in Civil Society
15-16 November 2013
http://www.sebeke.org.tr/en/?page_id=179

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Prof Dr. Andreas Walther - Participation or non- participaton ?

  1. 1. Participation or non-participation? The power of concepts and distinctions in (dis)empowering young people in late modern capitalism 15th of November 2013, Bilgi University Istanbul Prof. Dr. Andreas Walther, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  2. 2. Normative: full participation is positive ! Quantitative: full vs. empty/incomplete Forms and areas: some know exactly what participation is, where and how it occurs “Full participation of young people in civic and political life is an increasing challenge, in light of the gap between youth and the institutions … increasing youth participation in the civic life of local communities and in representative democracy, by supporting youth organisations as well as various forms of 'learning to participate', by encouraging participation of non-organised young people and by providing quality information services.“ Who has to bridge the gap? Non-participation as deficit / mal-adaptation of young people which can be compensated by policies Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de Social change: Less participation Relation: Participation as conditional – young people as inable and anxious
  3. 3. Questions and aims • Youth participation is positive and its meaning is unanimous • Young people do not participate enough or not in the right way • The lack of participation can / has to be addressed by policy and pedagogical practice  educate/learn first, participate later  Questions and overview: 1. Meaning(s), discourses and prerequisites of „participation“ 2. Empirical findings I: how much youth participation 3. Empirical findings II: experiences, parctices and meanings of young people 4. Conclusions: Distinctions and differentation Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  4. 4. Research background Youth policy and participation (YOYO). Qualitative study on potentials of participation and informal learning for young people‘s transitions to the labour market (2001-2004) Youth – actor of social change (UP2YOUTH). Literature review and comparative analysis on transitions to parenthood, young immigrantsa and youth participation Governance of educational trajectories in Europe (GOETE): access, coping and relevance of education for young people (2010-2013) FI IE DK UK NL D S PL F PT AT ES SI IT SK RO BG GR
  5. 5. 1. Meanings and discourses of (youth) participation • Meaning in most languages ambiguous and broad – power/claims/rights – presence/attendance – active – passive – goal or principle of policy and practice • Participation as principle of and tensions in modern politics, democracy and civil society: – self-determination - co-determination – right of voluntary involvement – expectation of responsibility – engagement - formal procedures – deliberation (voice) – representation – public space – organisation – self-realisation - alienation Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  6. 6. Discourses of youth participation: what is said – what not? … depend on contexts, actors, interrests, actors and power relations of the youth participation discourse – Individualisation and mass society − Fragmentation and mediatisation of the public sphere − International and suprastatal governance (EU, UN) − Destandardisation of life course and transitions to adulthood − Neoliberalism: − Active welfare / social investment state  activation of human capital; expectation of self-responsibility (instead of solidarity) − Active citizenship (denounciation of passive dependency) − Emergence of a „participation industry“ Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  7. 7. Examples 1) “Youth are a priority of the European Union's social vision, and the current crisis compounds the need to nurture young human capital … Europe's youth need to be equipped to take advantage of opportunities such as civic and political participation ...“ 2) „Ladder of participation“: Struggles between policy makers, professionals and activists on ‚real‘ and ‚enough‘ participation (Arnstein 1969; Hart 1992) A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  8. 8. • Prerequisites: – Mediation between subjective relevances and collective necessities – Power and rights – Trust and recognition – Time and space – Competencies and consciousness? Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  9. 9. 2. Empirical findings I: how much youth participation Political participation Participation in elections last 3 years Political interest (<30) Young people 15-30 (Eurobarometer) Adults(OECD) European social survey Eurobarometer 2007 2013 2005 2003 2007 EU 62 56 - - 82 DE 63 53 71 48 87 IT 56 71 81 22 78 UK 53 38 66 41 86 FI 53 64 69 33 82 PL 74 22 55 27 83 SK 71 52 59 - 83  National differences are bigger than intragenerational differences Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  10. 10. Non-conventional forms of political participation Eurobarometer Spannring et al. 2008 2007: preferred action 2004: done past 12 months debates petition demo party union NGO Demo Consumerism EU 29 11 13 16 11 11 - - DE 22 20 24 27.7 14.6 IT 34 12 19 46.4 22.6 UK 25 15 3.6 4.5 FI 34 17 9.9 32.3 PL 39 13 - - SK 42 17 5.7 20.5 18 15 Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ 18 11 A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  11. 11. Participation and inequality Eurobarometer elections membership 2007 2013 + (higher) + (higher) + (higher) Gender - - Employm. + (highest self-empl) + (highest employees) debate 2007 Education Fahmy 2006 demo 2007 2007 + (higher) + (lower) + (higher) + (male) - - - + (highest employees) - - -  differences especially according to education Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ pol. part. A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  12. 12. Lessons from surveys: • No clear sign of break down of political participation • No clear sign of break down of social participation (sports dominates) • National differences bigger than generational differences • Perspective towards formal/conventional forms too narrow  trends towards non-conventional forms • Under-representation of lower educated youth across all conventional and nonconventional forms of social and political participation (are policy makers right?) - also in e-participation (CIVICWEB project)  but why? – Competencies and information? – Low expectation of effectiveness? Learned mistrust in formal institutions – Lack of relevance of issues associated with participation?  Need of broadening the perspective: experiences in public institutions and youth cultures Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  13. 13. Empirical findings II: practices and meanings of young people • Experience of participation in public institutions – Projects GOETE (www.goete.eu) and UP2YOUTH (www.up2youth.org): marginal influence in school – German research on youth in public care: professionals restrict participation referring to deficits and for loss of professional authority Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  14. 14. • Youth work as participatory institution? • Project YOYO (www.iris-egris.de/yoyo): participation in transition from school to work  bigger in ‚soft‘ youth policies (e.g. youth work) than ‚hard‘ youth policies (e.g. training and employment schemes) • Choice • Spaces for experimentation • Trustful relationships • Phd Larissa von Schwanenflügel: participation biographies of disadvantaged young people (low education,poor families) in youth work depend on ‚fit‘ between biographical needs and what they find in youth work • But: – ‚soft‘ youth policies rarely provide ‚hard‘ resources (problem of social recognition and relevance)? – Trend of instrumentalisation for school in the context of neoliberal activation and human capital formation Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  15. 15. • Youth cultures as forms and contexts of participation: – Youth cultures as expressions of youth as not only preparation for adulthood but life phase in its own right – Youth cultures as contexts of (political) socialisation: • Willis (Learning to labour): youth cultural practice as specific orientation towards working class culture • Pfaff: music cultures as contexts of development of (quasi)political orientations (Goth – left wing; Metal – right wing/nationalist; HipHop – no party orientation but social justice as issue) – Youth cultures as practice in the public sphere • Claims for participation in the public sphere • Experience of conflicts with other actors/interests and the authorities Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  16. 16. − Example 1: Riots in suburbs of Paris 2005 … as well as Athens, Copenhagen, London …  Isn‘t that simply agression and vandalism? or a „protopolitical rebellion“ (Lapeyronnie 2006) Example 2: Skaters in public space  Is this serious? Don‘t they just want to have fun? Local initiative „Cork Skaters“(Ireland) Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  17. 17. Example 3: young people ‚doing nothing‘ („Chilling“) Wasting their time (and human capital) or resisting against (or at least claming for a break from) the constant pressure of (self)exploitation and competition Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  18. 18. Doing nothing? Contextualisation and/or validation of consciousness and intentions is needed to distinguish participation from non-participation Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  19. 19. 4. Conclusions: changed meaning of participation – or necessary differentiation of participation in late capitalism? • Individualisation – biographisation: – relevance of collective political issues needs to be experienced subjectively with regard to the own biography • Neoliberalism – activation: – The demand to take own choices (within the paradigms of human capital and employability) – regardless of options and resources – and being made accountable for own choices • Fragmentation of the public sphere: – Different issues of collective and subjective relevance are dealt with in different contexts   participation programmes as „containers“ • Identity work – (in)visibility as a political issue? – Youth cultures: under conditions of individualisation/ fragmentation and uncertainty visibility is a vital need of constructing identities Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  20. 20. Claims of visibility:  who has the power/right to define what is „real“ participation? A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  21. 21. Proposal for a new definition of youth participation All actions of young people in the public or addressing the public need to be seen as potentially participatory. Only communicative validation can show whether the actor consciously related (or wanted to relate) individual interest with the wider community or society. What does this mean? Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de
  22. 22. • Research: extend research designs beyond measuring young people‘s behaviour with regard to formal participation  analyse how individuals relate to the public • Policy: dialogue rather than criminalising young people who act in the public; provide (different) spaces for experimentation; participation rights for young people to negotiate with adults and institutions  including access to welfare! • Pedagogical / youth work practice: negotiation of goals and methods; conflicts as participatory situation; experimentation rather than teaching participation regarding predefined issues. • NGOs: accept particularity of own objectives and milieu; reflect differences between interests of initiators/organisors and participants/users. Social Pedagogical Research Centre „Education and Coping in the Life Course“ A.Walther@em.uni-frankfurt.de

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