The past cannot be changed, but the future can be developed
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As Northern Ireland's young people now come of age with no memories of the Troubles, and with all the same issues and opportunities as 'txt generation' young people elsewhere, this critically important resource is for anyone:
"The Northern Ireland conflict has been one of the most thoroughly-researched conflicts in the world. So, what has this book to offer beyond what has already been said about Northern Ireland? We believe that the cessation of paramilitary violence opens up the opportunity to focus on issues affecting young people which in the past have been overlooked due to the sheer impact that the Northern Ireland conflict has had on the lives of people living here." The editors.
Written by leading authorities reflecting on a broad-based, holistic and participative survey of 16-year-olds over the first decade of post-conflict Northern Ireland, it contains:
This multi-faceted study of young people's lives and communities is a reminder that making a difference requires us to work across all parts of their lives, not just on those issues that most powerfully present themselves.
It is based on The Young Life and Times (YLT) annual postal survey of approximately 2,000 16-year olds, which has been systematically collecting information since 1998. YLT is one of the key activities of ARK, a joint initiative by the two Northern Irish universities. Reliable, robust and ongoing, it monitors changes in attitudes and behaviour over time.
The analysis and insight presented in this book go far beyond YLT's occasional short Research Updates and its raw data and results tables from the survey, available at www.ark.ac.uk/ylt .This book offers fresh insight and analysis of young people's lives and times. It addresses not just what we expect to hear about when NI is being discussed: violence, sectarianism, faith-segregated schooling, cross-community contact, politics, peace process. But also: inward migration, mental health, suicide rates, bullying, pupil participation, sexual health, poverty, class, and how best to find out about these things in robust ways that involve young people in shaping the process.
It includes Is Anybody Listening? - a prize-winning essay in a 2007 competition open to all Northern Ireland's 16-year-olds.
Paperback. 144 pages. 978-1-905541-34-8. 2008. £14.95.
Preface Paula Devine & Dirk Schubotz, both of Queen's University Belfast
Foreword Robert Bell, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust
Introduction Paula Devine & Dirk Schubotz
Shared or scared? Attitudes to community relations among young people 2003-7 Duncan Morrow, Northern Ireland Community Relations Council
Adolescent mental health in Northern Ireland: empirical evidence from the Young Life and Times Survey Katrina Lloyd, Queen's University Belfast, Ed Cairns, Claire Doherty & Kate Ellis, all of University of Ulster
Tackling bullying in schools: the role of pupil participation Ruth Sinclair, National Children's Bureau Northern Ireland
Honesty about sex and relationships - it's not too much to ask for Simon Blake, Brook
Diversity or diversion? Experiences of education in Northern Ireland Tony Gallagher, Queen's University Belfast
Young people's thoughts on poverty Alex Tennant & Marina Monteith, Save the Children Northern Ireland
Is anybody listening? Shaun Mulvenna, a young person from Northern Ireland
Giving young people a voice via social research projects: methodological challenges Dirk Schubotz & Paula Devine
Appendix: technical details of YLT survey
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Dirk Schubotz is Young Life and Times Director at ARK at Queen's University Belfast, where he is also Research Fellow in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. He has published on a range of issues affecting young people in Northern Ireland, in particular community relations and sexual health.
Paula Devine is Research Director at ARK, Queen's University Belfast, where she is also Senior Social Survey Officer in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. She is the co-ordinator of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, which is an annual survey of adults living in Northern Ireland. She has been co-author and co-editor for most of the edited volumes based on social attitudes survey data in Northern Ireland.
"The message of the book is that we have a lot to learn from our youth, if we take the trouble to listen to themů The contribution they make, when they are consulted, can help society with endemic problems such as bullying. The research also shows that the roots of some problems lie in the attitudes young people develop through lack of adequate information." Therapy Today.
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