Date of Degree

9-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Roger Hart

Committee Members

Martin Ruck

Brett Stoudt

Subject Categories

Civic and Community Engagement | Community Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Leadership Studies | Models and Methods | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

children's rights; organizational governance; international research; participatory research; community development; childhood studies

Abstract

The goal of this study is to learn how new types of children’s associations around the world are organizing themselves and how their organizational structures reflect contemporary understandings of children’s capacities as citizens. The purpose is to identify different types and qualities of participatory children’s associations and how each affords opportunities for children to exercise their right to freedom of association, develop capacities for self-governance in groups, and promote the principles of inclusion (non-discrimination) and equity (fairness). To this end, I document and analyze diagrams of organizational structures that members of different children’s associations created during the Article 15 Project capacity-building workshops around the world, which were coordinated in collaboration with child-centered community development agencies. I supplement this analysis with data from my own observations of how participants created their diagrams, as well as participants’ video-recorded explanations of their diagrams, which I collected in my role as a workshop facilitator. One outcome of this research is a typology of the organizational structures of new types of children’s associations that can inform future research on the potential for children’s associations to support children’s capacities to participate in the governance of issues affecting their lives. Another outcome of this research is a list of strategies different children’s associations use to become more inclusive and equitable in regard to age, gender, and other social demographics. This list of strategies may be of interest to current members of children’s associations and adults who support them. The findings also respond to the need for scholarship in childhood studies to develop theoretical frameworks that transform conceptual dichotomies in the study of children, such as childhood as a state of being versus becoming, into spectrums that attend to the complexities and interplay of such oppositions.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.