Negotiating active citizenship: Young people’s participation in everyday spaces

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter takes a critical look at children and young people’s participation in the context of ideas about citizenship. In particular, counter to assumptions about children’s competence to participate and their ambiguous status as citizens in waiting, the chapter will discuss how, in spite of their marginalization within society, children and young people are in reality already participating de facto as active citizens within the spaces of their everyday lifeworlds. To that extent the central focus of this chapter is to discuss how participation as active citizens can be understood in terms of the cultural geographies of children and young people and the way in which the views and values of different young people arearticulated through their parti ipation within, and in relation to, the wider social contexts in which their lives take place. The chapter will begin by critically reflecting on some of the major issues in the field of children and young people’s participation focusing on some of the contradictions and paradoxes at play in reconciling ideals of participation with realities in practice in the context of adult agenda. The chapter will then rehearse some of the developments in citizenship studies and crucially how the status of childhood and debates about children and citizenship open up possibilities for reconceptualizing participation as active citizenship. Recent contributions to the citizenship literature are discussed focusing on citizenship as a dynamic process of active negotiation in relation to context. The chapter will then draw on empirical findings to discuss how changing trends in children and young people’s participation and citizenship are played out in the everyday spaces of local neighborhood, schools, and local services.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics, Citizenship and Rights
EditorsKirsi Pauliina Kallio, Sarah Mills, Tracey Skelton
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media Singapore Private Limited
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789814585576
ISBN (Print)9789814585569
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2015

Publication series

NameGeographies of Children and Young People


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