The Participation Project: How projects shape young people’s participation

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This chapter focusses on professionally facilitated efforts to promote young people’s participation through project-based activities located within young people’s everyday arenas. Inspired by theories of the emergence of a project society and projectory regimes it introduces the emergence of a regime driven by social mobility, fast and continuous innovation and managerial logics with the aim to promote societal activity through projects. Drawing on case studies of young people’s experiences with taking part in two project-based initiatives that aim to promote young people’s participation in school and in the psychiatric system respectively, it is demonstrated how this project regime greatly affects whom, how and to what aims they are able to participate in change and decision-making.

Key findings:
• Professionally facilitated projects are a core contemporary feature in young people’s participation and generate both new opportunities and new barriers.
• These facilitated participatory spaces allow for less hierarchical relations between young people and professionals, but tend to have difficulties addressing more permanent concerns in the arenas or institutions that accommodate the activities.
• Projects often follow predefined programs. This allows for many organizations to apply the programs, but limits the space for young people’s own priorities.
• Projects often produce and reproduce inequalities because they tend to have a core group of highly engaged young participants, while the vast majority become mere recipients.
Translated title of the contributionDeltagelsesprojektet: - hvordan projekter rammesætter unges deltagelsesmuligheder
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYoung people's participation in Europe : Revisiting youth and participation
EditorsMaria Bruselius-jensen, Ilaria Pitti, E. Kay M. Tisdall
Number of pages16
PublisherPolicy Press
Publication date29 Mar 2021
ISBN (Print)978-1447345411, 978-1447345428
ISBN (Electronic)978-1447345442
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

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