I am a PhD Student at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Currently researching the political literacy of young people in Cambridgeshire. Questioning the nature of democracy, the public sphere and political education and how they apply to young people’s experiences of society.

An emancipatory approach is being used to support my interpretation of young people’s political literacy in the public sphere and to further understanding of how historical and social contexts develop or restrain young people’s political understanding.

Fifteeen years experience in a local authority youth service raises many questions about the expectations placed on youth workers to provide genuine and equal participation opportunities for young people. It is challenging to work with disadvantaged, rurally isolated young people as the scope is limited for effective participation opportunites…especially in these politically centralised times. The effects of negative perceptions of young people further distance them from fair and useful integration into society.

My research is attempting to holistically unpick both the micro and macro influences on young people’s political literacy and understand more about what supports or inhibits their ability to engage in the public sphere.


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