Understanding young people’s political attitudes through narrative: An analysis of student’s letters to the President

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 29 October, 2013 - 13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Fiona Wairimu Ngarachu PhD candidate University of Southampton
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29,Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building,Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

 

There has been a turn to narrative in social science as a way of understanding how citizens understand and relate to the social world. As human beings our lives are “storied” and this is a rich area of analysis for social scientists. Narratives can take many forms be it the written word, spoken or even in the case of visual narratives. The written narrative is what is of interest in this particular paper. In a pilot study that is part of a wider PhD project; young people in secondary schools in Kenya were asked to write a letter to the President of the Nation. This paper will report on the findings from these letters through a narrative analysis lens influenced greatly by the work of Corrine Squire, Catherine Riesman and Molly Andrews. This is in an effort to highlight how young people are reproducing and contesting popular political attitudes and how their interpretations give us an insight into their understanding of the past and hopes for the future.