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Title: Storying challenges in communities
Authors: Keane, Philomena Helen Aine
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The methodology of the thesis guided the research focus. It endeavoured to use a community psychology approach, collaboratively working with Mothers Against Violence (MAV) - a volunteer group based in Moss Side, Manchester. The research question evolved through attendance at MAV meetings, where members expressed concern with how they felt their community was being perceived. Members believed that negative stereotypes had impacted on investment, employment, public services, and opportunities for young people. Five members of MAV were interviewed using semi-structured re-authoring questions from narrative practice. Interviews were evaluated using narrative and thematic analysis techniques. As well as highlighting concerns about perceptions, MAV relayed their community’s attributes including the diverse activities, facilities, volunteers and community groups locally available. They also gave richer descriptions of problematic issues with helpful guidance towards future change. This thesis is introduced with a review of government agendas over the last two administrations, particularly in relation to communities and young people. The discussion considers misrepresentations and dominant narratives circulated about communities facing challenges. These are analysed alongside structural issues such as inequality. The discussion also raises questions about the effectiveness of current government agendas in promoting genuine community consultation. As a developing educational psychologist it is important to be aware of dominant discourses, and how these could impact on judgements being made about the people we work with. Being sensitive to how children, families and communities feel they are storied might encourage more authentic engagement. It is also likely to result in more relevant, collaboratively designed goals and strategies.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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