EXPERT ADVISORY: 20 March 2018 – R00058
An estimated 500,000 youths will arrive in Washington, D.C. this Saturday for the March For Our Lives demonstration to address issues of school safety and gun control.
They will be joined by other children and youth at some 800 simultaneous events being held around the world in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida last month.
“There are many examples of young people today mobilizing around social issues, especially those that connect to their high schools,” says Rebecca Raby, a professor in Brock University’s Department of Child and Youth Studies and the graduate programs in Social Justice and Equity Studies and Critical Sociology. “To do so, they are activating social media in a way that blurs distinctions between online and offline worlds.”
Raby, who has spent several years studying student protests, is available to speak with the media this week in advance of the March For Our Lives demonstration.
She says that while some adults think young people are disengaging from formal politics, “in other arenas, we can see young people engaging directly with political questions.”
“Adults sometimes conceptualize young people in ways that discount their views and participation, framing them as incompetent, immature and naïve,” says Raby. “But many researchers are challenging this way of thinking about children and youth, noting the value of listening to young people’s views and highlighting their competencies.”
She says under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, youth also have a say about the decisions made about them.
Raby has researched student protests of dress codes and recently co-edited The Sociology of Children and Youth in Canada, a volume that includes several research projects on social justice and youth engagement. She is available to comment on:
- recent and upcoming examples of youth civic engagement
- theories of agency, rebellion, resistance and contestation among young people
- children and youth as participants within families, peer groups, social institutions, online and more broadly
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University firstname.lastname@example.org, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970
Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.
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