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Boosting young citizens’ deontic status: Interactional allocation of rights-to-decide in participatory democracy meetings

Publicerad:2022-09-27
Uppdaterad:2023-02-13

Simon Magnusson har från ett sociointeraktionellt perspektiv undersökt hur ungdomar inkluderas i beslutsfattande i medborgardialoger.

Författare

Simon Magnusson

Handledare

Professor Mats Landqvist, Södertörns högskola. Associate Professor Lina Nyroos, Södertörns högskola

Opponent

Professor Camilla Lindholm, Tampere University

Disputerat vid

Södertörns högskola

Disputationsdag

2022-10-07

Titel (eng)

Boosting young citizens’ deontic status: Interactional allocation of rights-to-decide in participatory democracy meetings

Institution

Institutionen för kultur och lärande

Boosting young citizens’ deontic status: Interactional allocation of rights-to-decide in participatory democracy meetings

This thesis explores the social organization of rights-to-decide in participatory democracy meetings where adolescents are invited. In such meetings, young citizens are given the opportunity to influence decision-makers and participate in determining future political action. Specifically, this thesis focuses on how social inclusion in decision-making is accomplished in adolescent-politician interaction as well as youth-peer interaction.

Employing a Conversation Analytic perspective, naturally occurring participatory democracy meetings are analyzed to explore how adolescents are offered possibilities to influence decisions. The data investigated consists of a popup democracy workshop and a yearlong participatory democracy project (approx. 81 h), where adolescents are invited to contribute to decision-making.

Three papers comprise the current thesis and examine 1) how adolescents are encouraged to participate in decision-making, 2) how a youth participatory role is delimited, and 3) how jointness is accomplished in decision-making. These questions are approached with a social deontic framework where human powerplay is investigated through participants’ interactional negotiations of rights to determine action. The analysis reveals that the participating adults’ pep talks and instructions offer a narrow adolescent role of influence. Inclusion therefore ultimately becomes alignment to adults’ conceptions of who the adolescents are and how they should contribute to decision-making. Furthermore, the analysis shows how adult community representatives elicit adolescents’ negative emotional experiences and transform these into deontic building blocks in the impending decision-making. Community representatives’ superior deontic rights permeate the initiatives of inclusion directed at adolescents. Regarding jointness, the analysis reveals that, in adolescent-politician interaction, jointness is not accomplished, rather asymmetries of power are re-established by participants. However, in adolescent peer interaction joint decision-making is accomplished through verbal, embodied and material resources.

By studying interactional efforts of inclusion, this thesis tackles critical aspects of the practices that facilitate and constrain political participation. The thesis extends our understanding of youth inclusion in decision-making by illuminating complex challenges inherent in the practice of inviting adolescents to participatory democracy meetings. By tackling these issues, this thesis also contributes theoretically and analytically to central notions within social deontics and research on joint decision-making and points out crucial future directions for research on inclusion and political action.

Forskningsbevakningen presenteras i samarbete med

forskningsinstitutet Ifous

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