Stories as indicators of practical knowledge: analysing project workers' talk from a study of participation in a youth inclusion programme.

Nolas, Sevasti-Melissa (2011) Stories as indicators of practical knowledge: analysing project workers' talk from a study of participation in a youth inclusion programme. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 21 (2). pp. 138-150. ISSN 1052-9284

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Abstract

The paper deals with the issue of practical knowledge for enabling participation. Participation as a strategy for change is widespread in community, health and human service contexts. Research to date has focused on the mechanisms of beneficiaries' participation (e.g. identity, empowerment, activity, gender, space). However, participation as an engagement strategy is action oriented and requires high levels of interaction between those creating the conditions for participation and those participating. These conditions need to be continuously adjusted and outcomes are often unpredictable. This process of ‘working with’ is often dealt with as a technical issue and captured in metaphorical language. Less emphasis has been given to the type of knowledge modalities that might be necessary in order to enable participation. Drawing on an ethnographic case study of participation in a youth inclusion programme the paper explores the role of stories as potential indicators of practical knowledge. The paper argues that enabling young people's participation requires intuition and imagination, patience and perseverance, and judgement for acting under uncertainty. It concludes that stories only partially fulfil their potential as indicators of such knowledge modalities.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Citations on ISI Web of Science:1
ID Code:7014
Deposited On:24 Feb 2011 11:49
Last Modified:07 Feb 2013 10:09

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