Accepted Paper:

Ethnographies BY youth: experiences from the Research Education Cooperation "JuMuW/You move!" in Austria  


Anna Streissler (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

The paper presents experiences from an ongoing Research Education Cooperation in Vienna, Austria in which pupils carry out ethnographic research of their own life-worlds. It focuses on the team's attempts to teach anthropological research and on the youths' changing perceptions of (un)certainties.

Paper long abstract:

This paper deals with my experiences in the ongoing project 'JuMuW [You move] Youth Research Workshop Multicultural Vienna'. This is a Research Education Cooperation focusing on intercultural learning and multicultural life-worlds of 12-15 year old pupils with fewer social and economic opportunities from two vocationally oriented secondary schools in Vienna, Austria. In "JuMuW" pupils should produce systematic socio-cultural knowledge of teenage lifeworlds in a school-based project. We anthropologists are starting out from three premises: 1) Little qualitative data exists about youth with fewer opportunities attending vocationally oriented secondary school in Vienna. 2) There is a tendency in international youth research to develop research not only ON youth but WITH youth and BY youth in order to reduce adult bias. 3) The participating pupils may be empowered by carrying out research on topics of their own choice.

Anthropologists, education specialists, and teachers provide learning opportunities regarding various anthropological research methods (photography, observation, questionnaires and interviews) and contents for the pupils in the course of the school year 2011/12. Between February and June the pupils will carry out research projects of their own design on different aspects of multicultural (Amit-Talai 1995) youth cultures and will present the results in a Junior Researchers' Conference.

The presentation will deal with two questions: 1) How did our team attempt to teach the pupils to carry out their own ethnographic research and what were the results? 2) How does research carried out by youth change their perception of realities and (un)certainties?

Panel W103
Children and youth exploring uncertain realities