Talking and Listening Approaches with young people

Researching Youth – Methods Seminar Series

The first session in our Researching Youth Seminar series hosted by the British Educational Research Association (BERA) special interest group for Youth Studies & Informal Education, in collaboration with the British Sociological Association (BSA)’s Youth Study Group and the Political Studies Association (PSA)’s Young People’s Politics Specialist Group.

This session will explore talking and listening approaches to research with young people with short presentations as a stimulus for discussion among event attendees from:

Alistair Ross will share his own strategies of ‘deliberative discussion’. This approach engages young people in discussion around socio-political issues in a largely non-directive manner, using their own vocabulary, in response to very open questioning from the researcher. The technique does not prompt with particular terms and vocabulary, and allows a discussion that is largely responsive to their comments and observations. It does not therefore assume that participants have already formed particular opinions, and gives them a sense of ownership over the process.

Karenza Moore discusses her research with People Who Use Drugs (PWUDs). Much research to date focuses on talking at young people about illicit drugs, whilst pretending they don’t take them. In contrast, through listening to young people about their drug use experiences, drug education programmes can improve efficacy, “give voice” to marginalised drug users, and reduce related risks and harms.

Frances Howard discusses the importance of listening in research with young people. Drawing on her previous background as a Youth Worker, she reflects on the importance of spending time with research participants, knowing when to ask questions and relational ethics. Drawing on an ethics-of-care approach to research (Noddings 2013), that listening can be the most challenging role in a conversation.

Following these short presentations, there will be space for event attendees to share questions, ideas and their own approaches to talking and listening to young people.

Please register here:

Free of charge for BERA, PSA and BSA members. PSA members need to input the promotional code ‘PSA2022’ at checkout.