Participatory structures and the youth of today: Engaging those who are hardest to reach.
Matthews, H. (2001). Participatory structures and the youth of today: Engaging those who are hardest to reach. Ethics, Place & Environment, 4(2). pp. 153-159.
Abstract: Youth forums are a favoured means for encouraging youth participation. Taking many forms, they usually describe groups of young people who come together in committees to discuss issues relating to their communities. Adults establish many youth forums largely because they are perceived to provide tangible opportunities deemed to enable ongoing participation rather than because of demand from young people themselves. Recent evidence suggests, however, that youth forums are often an inappropriate way of engaging many young people, especially those who are traditionally hardest to reach. This paper explores the ethical and methodological challenges facing those agencies who wish to behave in an inclusive manner, yet in so doing establish structures and bureaucracies that sideline many young people, further obfuscating their voices in local decision making. Alternative ways forward for engaging young people are suggested.
(Abstract © Taylor & Francis, reprinted by special permission from Taylor & Francis Group, a division of Informa UK, http://www.tandf.co.uk).