Participation Biographies: Routes and relevancies of young people’s participation

Larissa von Schwanenflügel, Jessica Lütgens, Grainne McMahon, Susanne Liljeholm Hansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Starting from a critical perspective of the dominant participation discourse which draws on a narrow and institutionalised concept of participation to ascribe young people a lack of interest in participation, this article focusses on the participation biographies of young people in European countries. The analysis reveals that participatory activities emerge differently where they become biographically meaningful. They can be expressions of the search for recognition and for feelings of self-efficacy, of coping with biographical challenges as well as with experiences in institutional contexts and of how young people position themselves between youth and adults. Thus, this article underscores that participation is not just a question of formal information but one of responses to and experiences of societal recognition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-445
Number of pages15
JournalDiscourse. Journal of Childhood and Adolescence Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019


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