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
Keywords: participation;practical knowledge;phronesis;stories;ethnography;youth inclusion
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sevasti-Melissa Nolas
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:31
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2012 17:22
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21073
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