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In the Breakout rooms, event attendees were task with discussing their own approaches to talking and listening and how they would deal with sensitive topics or potentially unsayable stories. Trust and time with young people were communicated as key elements of this process with Youth Workers in a beneficial position as Researchers. The spatial, contextual and cultural aspects of how and when to discuss were also noted. 

Key challenges identified included listening to the answers that we don’t want and deciding 

how much of ourselves we share. In relation to the group discussion method shared by Professor Alistair Ross, participants discussed how ‘framed responses’ may position young people in particular categories and how research may not ‘respect’ young people. An important consideration raised by one attendee was the question that a young person might raise about ‘how does writing up research help me?’ 

Finally, when pondering the question: how much do we ‘really’ listen?, attendees signposted areas of good practice. These included not introducing ‘leading terms’, using a narrative-generating stimuli as part of open interviews and the co-creation and co-design of research with young people. 

Chairs & Speakers

Frances Howard, Dr

Lecturer in Youth Studies at Nottingham Trent University

Dr Frances Howard is Course Leader for BA (hons) Youth Studies at Nottingham Trent University. She has previously worked in local authorities, arts education and youth work and continues to conduct research on young people, youth work, the...

Alistair Ross, Professor

Senior Professor at London Metropolitan University

Alistair Ross is Senior Professor in Politics and Education at London Metropolitan University (part-time). He has a PhD in Politics from the University of London, a DLitt from London Metropolitan, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Karenza Moore, Dr

Lecturer in Sociology of Crime at Newcastle University

Karenza is a Lecturer in Sociology of Crime at Newcastle University, UK, and co-convenor of the British Sociological Association's Youth Study Group. Karenza has researched drug use, markets and policies for 18 years. She focuses on alcohol,...