Exploring Youth Participation Strategies in Chile

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:24
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Maria TSEKOURA, Catholic University of Chile, Chile
This presentation will discuss ongoing empirical work that is looking at the participation of young people in the Chilean context and seeks to explore current forms, processes, and strategies privileged among youth in order to express their social identities. Current research regarding the involvement of youth in Chile reveals a multiplicity of social roles and strategies adopted by young people ranging from political activity to volunteerism, and from formal representation to protest and activism. While we have some information regarding the content of citizenship notions among Chilean youth, this work is addressing the lack information regarding the interplay between such perceptions with the ways in which young people make use of available participatory opportunities. In other words, it explores how young people´s expectations, hopes, emotional response to the “here and now”, and visions of the future (visions of the world they want to live in) mobilize particular kinds of involvement, in distinct spaces for involvement.

The presentation proposes an approach that is looking at youth participation not merely as involvement in political processes but also as a daily lived experience. This work uses the researcher´s existing typology of youth participation -devised by similar research in spaces for participation in the European context- to identify similarities and differences regarding understandings of the purpose of participation that would connect individuals across contexts. This research aims to contribute new knowledge regarding how younger generations collectively experience the world, develop identities, shape lifestyles, communicate with others, and work towards social change that impacts the self and extends to others. The presentation aims to contribute to a discussion about the ways in which young people react to the impact of socio-historical change and how participation can act as a terrain that allows them to think about future and to accordingly frame decision-making.