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Exploring the Narratives of Young Men who Have Spent Time in a Young Offender Institution

Harman, Sarah (2015) Exploring the Narratives of Young Men who Have Spent Time in a Young Offender Institution. DEdPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This study is a small scale research project exploring the narratives of three young males who have spent time in a young offender institution. Qualitative research in this area is sparse, and the quantitative research which exists does not portray the complexities of the lives of these young people. There is little research which emphasises the voice of young people who have offended, therefore within this research I aimed to privilege the voices of the participants and to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences. I adopted a social constructionist position in the research, acknowledging that all of the design, the co-construction of the narratives and the interpretation of the stories, were heavily influenced by me as the researcher. Using a voice-centred relational model of narrative analysis, adapted from the Listening Guide (Brown & Gilligan, 1993), I explored how the participants’ identities were constructed and how they were positioned within the stories, discussing how their narratives relate to dominant discourses about young people who have offended. The research was extremely challenging, both in respect of gaining ethical consent and in engaging participants. Reflection on these barriers formed an important part of the research, and may go some way to explaining the dearth of research carried out directly with the young people themselves. Power relations are discussed, highlighting the need for a more nuanced understanding of the limitations in claims of empowerment within research with young people and identifying the benefits and limitations of using a narrative approach in educational psychology practice.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.665029
Depositing User: Dr Sarah Harman
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 10:00
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:15
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9668

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