Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Marginalized Youth and Civic Engagement: Insights from Urban Youth on Solidarity, Respect, and Citizenship
by Kyriacopoulos, Konstantine A., Ph.D., University of Washington, 2011, 128; 3501876
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of this study was to include the voices of marginalized urban Americans in the research on civic engagement in youth. I used the theoretical framework of the social construction of knowledge, critical social capital, democratic solidarity, and sociopolitical development to examine how marginalized urban youth (young people of color between the ages of 14 and 21) conceptualize community, responsibility, and citizenship. I used a multimethod approach combining survey and focus group discussions to interact with 16 young people in two different community-based organizations. I asked young African, Latino, and Vietnamese Americans to complete an online survey and attend focus group discussions in Seattle, Washington. The online survey provided quantitative information on participants' responses while transcripts of the focus group discussions shed light on issues and concerns raised by the survey. The survey data and focus group discussions led to four themes: (a) civility, (b) respect, (c) solidarity, and (d) activist citizenship. Key findings were that these marginalized young people are deeply committed to their communities, demanding and giving of respect, and aware of ulterior motives and hidden agendas behind research. Marginalized youth were eager to talk about their ideas and concepts about civic engagement with an adult researcher who took the time to allay their concerns and trepidations. This study sheds new light by including the voices of urban marginalized young people in the research on civic engagement in youth.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Banks, James A.
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Multicultural Education
Keywords: Activism, Civic engagement, Critical, Marginalized, Mixed methods, Multicultural, Social capital
Publication Number: 3501876
ISBN: 978-1-267-23751-4
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