The Use of Digital Narratives by Young People to Overcome the Effects of Stigma and Increase Social Inclusion

Fernando Fernandes, Alison Hudson

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

    Abstract

    Description
    It is understood that the production of new narratives by young people in the form of digital storytelling can enhance space-time experience producing empowerment and new ways to promote equality, social inclusion and active learning (Lambert, 2006). These new narratives can also contribute to changes in the social representations of stigmatized groups promoting new practices and strategies to overcome social vulnerability.
    In this paper we identify and analyse current projects, which use narrative and new media to overcome the effects of stigma on social vulnerability and poverty cycles. The replication of such projects in different settings is explored and discussed, in particular, with reference to the priorities of the European Union’s strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020). The study combines a review and an analysis of international projects with a literature review of associated academic research. It takes a socio-cultural approach to the analysis and uses a Bourdieun (1986) theoretical framework to explore social, cultural and economic capital and the impact of such projects on the self-esteem and social inclusion of stigmatized youngsters.
    Stigma refers to the increase of socio-spatial segregation in the cities due to urban violence and the criminalization of poverty. For people living under this “socio-spatial stigmatization” there are restricted space-time experiences with reduced chances to amplify their social, cultural and economic capital as well as to enjoy the life in the city in plenitude and freedom (Wacquant, 2008). More vulnerable, due to stigma, such groups become unable to overcome the limitations imposed by poverty and have difficulties in accessing better conditions of life.
    Using narrative and new media to present life experience is considered particularly valuable for such individuals and groups whose perceptions and experiences have had a biased representation or little historical coverage (Clandinin and Connelly, 2000). The use of image, audio, video and narrative can be used to present a richer and more nuanced picture of young people and social settings and thus provide source material from which to learn and deepen understanding about minority groups. Some strategies using narrative and digital storytelling have been adopted in order to reduce the effects of stigma and at the same time enhance an “urban self-esteem” (Fernandes and Hudson, 2009). The use of video and photography in a non-formal education setting carried out by community organizations is an example. Such techniques have been used by stigmatized youngsters as a way to produce new accounts of their reality through the reinforcement of singular aesthetics from the life experience point of view. Thus, in order to state a new vision about themselves and their social reality, they confront the traditional sources of the production of social representations producing new social representations. As a result, these groups have been creating new ways to exercise citizenship as well as to dialogue with the Estate and the broad society.

    Methods and methodologies
    The aim of the study is to identify, review and systematize research and development related to the use of digital narrative in helping young people living under socio-spatial stigmatization. This study combines a review and an analysis of current projects with a literature review of associated academic research literature. The first stage is an international review of recent and current projects involving young people in the production of new narratives in the form of digital storytelling to promote social inclusion and address social vulnerability. The second part of the study is a literature review which will identify and analyse research associated with the key areas of this study: young people living under socio-spatial stigmatization, the use of digital narratives and new media, social inclusion and active learning.
    Expected outcomes
    The outcomes of the study will be in the form of an academic paper which will include:
    • a review of recent and current international projects involving young people in the production of new narratives in the form of digital storytelling to promote equality and address stigmatization
    • an analyses of the impact of such projects for young people on social, cultural and economic capital, self esteem and social inclusion
    • recommendations regarding the replication of such projects in different settings, and with reference to the priorities of the European Union’s strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) and the Lifelong Learning Programme.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventThe European Conference on Educational Research 2011 - Berlin, Germany
    Duration: 13 Sep 201116 Sep 2011
    http://www.eera-ecer.de/ecer2011/?no_cache=1

    Conference

    ConferenceThe European Conference on Educational Research 2011
    Abbreviated titleECER 2011
    CountryGermany
    CityBerlin
    Period13/09/1116/09/11
    Internet address

    Keywords

    • Digital narratives
    • New medias
    • Stigmatization
    • Social inclusion
    • Education

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