Giving Social Action a Voice

Reframing Communication as Social Action

“In recent times the social action agenda has started to recognise young people’s role as active citizens with the potential to drive social change in a constrained fiscal climate. This has been recognised in Government supported initiatives such as Step Up to Serve’s #iwill campaign and the National Citizen Service (NCS). While these programmes offer a ‘double benefit’ both to individuals and wider society, the programmes’ focus on skills development can mean that social action becomes a set of non-discursive, practical activities, which can leave the value of young people’s voices side-lined.

This [study, led by Gemma McKenna of Fixers and Dr Lee Edwards of the University of Leeds] was designed to contribute to the debate on youth social action by reframing communication about social issues as a transformational form of social action in itself. By extending the current perception of social action beyond its dominant definition, new priorities for the government’s social action agenda are proposed. The focus is re-positioned towards the importance of helping young people to communicate effectively about issues important to them.” (McKenna & Edwards 2016) Read more…

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