Young mothers' experiential knowledge and the research process

Geraldine Brady, Geraldine Brown and Corinne Wilson

in Critical Perspectives on User Involvement

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427519
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305590 | DOI:
Young mothers' experiential knowledge and the research process

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This chapter focuses on some of the barriers to social inclusion faced by young parents. There are many inherent tensions as well as methodological, ethical and practical dilemmas and challenges to be overcome. The chapter calls into question the meaning of participation and involvement, and highlights the relationship between research, policy and practice. It argues that more attention is given to positive aspects of participation than to issues such as unequal power relations and the ways in which the ‘grounded’ knowledge produced is received and valued, particularly if it contradicts that of the ‘experts’ or policy makers. The chapter draws attention to the way in which research with young parents has been commissioned in relation to a number of competing agendas, including the overarching national policy goal of the reduction of teenage pregnancy. It argues that this policy framework serves to limit the possibility for pregnant teenagers' and young parents' views and experiences to challenge this dominant discourse.

Keywords: young mothers; participatory research; marginalisation; inclusion

Chapter.  4622 words. 

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