Enabling Empowerment: The Role of Adults in ‘Youth Led’ Climate Groups

Elsen, Felix and Ord, Jon (2021) Enabling Empowerment: The Role of Adults in ‘Youth Led’ Climate Groups. Frontiers in Political Science. (In Press)

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Abstract

This research explores young people’s attitudes towards adult involvement within ‘youth led’ youth climate groups. Young people were acutely aware of their marginalisation and overall, there was a consensus that adults played a useful role as a resource, as experienced adult activists possessed knowledge that they lacked, or in offering practical support on legal issues or liaising with the police. The attitudes of young people to adult involvement is at times paradoxical in that whilst they were aware of its necessity, adults altered the dynamics of the groups, as there was a ‘power gap’ and that adult’s views could take precedence. As a result, on some occasions the young people parted ways from the adults. A continual theme from the research was that young people’s involvement in ‘youth climate groups’ gave them a sense of empowerment and they were much more aware of how to effect change, and to some extent they did need the support of adults in this process, often due to their structural disempowerment. The findings suggest that adult involvement was most successful when adults were committed to empowering young people and the researchers suggest that Kirshner’s model of ‘cycles of fading’ is a useful framework for adult involvement.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Activisim, Youth, Participation, Empowerment, Climate Change, Climate justice, Youth work, Climate activism
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2021 11:10
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:22
URI: https://marjon.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17646

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