Youth Work as Social Research

Ken Harland, Sam McCready

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    The article discusses youth work methodology as an underused and underestimated method of data collection in carrying out social research. The paper draws upon the findings from a five year longitudinal study carried out by the Centre for Young Men’s Studies at Ulster University. The fieldwork was carried out annually in nine schools across Northern Ireland with a single cohort of 378 adolescent boys aged 11-16. The study aimed to provide a methodology where the voice of boys and young men, in their natural settings, would be central to the research process and produce the types of data that would best reflect the social reality of their everyday lives. The paper also highlights the importance of having a well thought out dissemination strategy that is informative, interesting, challenging, interactive and engaging for the listeners, while resisting telling others what to do.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-33
    JournalYResearch - Journal of Social Research and Evaluation
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2015

    Bibliographical note

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    • Youth work methodology
    • longitudinal study
    • social research
    • Taking Boys Seriously
    • Centre for Young Men’s Studies


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