Researching the workshops for socially excluded youth

3.3 Interventionist methodologies: bridging theory and practice
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
2:30 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
Unemployed young people are a challenging problem worldwide. In OECD countries there are 17% of young people not in Employment, in Education or in Training (NEET). Studies on social work services for excluded youth have highlighted the multidimensionality of the youth problems. The question is how to improve the tools for collaborating on complex problems. I describe a participatory research with relation to workshops for NEET youth. The aim of the workshops was to strengthen the participants’ skills and capabilities in everyday life and help them to find education and/or employment. In this paper, I analyse participants' descriptions of the changes that occurred during the workshops. The data has been collected by interviewing the participating youth (n=30), as well as the social workers, rehabilitation counsellors etc. who were in charge of the workshops. Also, professionals from neighbouring units with whom the counsellors were collaborating were interviewed. In the analysis, particular attention is given to expansive learning and boundary crossing (Engeström, 2010), relational expertise (Edwards, 2017), as well as to the new tools (Seppälä & Toiviainen, 2017) that have been developed during the workshops. I present tentative results of this analysis and discuss the relevance of cultural-historical conceptions in researching and developing communities that support NEET youth in Northern Finland.
University of Oulu, Faculty of Education

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