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Workshops 16-17: Research for Empowerment; Philosophy as Method for Social Work
12:30pm - 2:00pm
Location:Parallel Session 4
Research for Empowerment
Teresa Wintersteller, Shenja Vasanthi Kumari Danz, Mariam Malik
University of Vienna, Austria
In our workshop we want to present participatory action research as a tool for social work to collaboratively work with service users about existing measures and offers they are attending to. Participatory Action Research with youth has a long research tradition in combining life-world experiences of young people as well as their knowledge and problem definitions with approaches of scientific analysis to empower those who are most affected by social policy measures and give a voice to people who are usually not listened to.
To illustrate how to do hands on research with young people, we draw on our experience in the Horizon 2020 project “CoAct – Co-designing Citizen Social Science for Collective Action” (funded by the European Commission). In our study we conduct participatory research with young people who are Early School Leavers and are placed in social policy measures to continue some sort of education in form of trainings or preparatory courses to promote their employability. To a high degree youth of educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, young people affected by language barriers because of histories of migration as well as youth with mental health difficulties and familial problems are affected by these policy measures.
We will talk about the topic of young people as service users and how they are put to the margins of the educational system and the labour market. We elaborate on our theoretical and methodological approach, show materials and outcomes of the research with young people (e.g., videos, collaboratively developed policy measures, techniques for teaching social science research) and try out activities with the conference attendants themselves. Therefore, we will choose some methods from our toolbox developed in the course of doing research with young people. The goal of the workshop is to stress the importance of participation of service users and to offer concrete tools that are applicable in everyday social work practice.