Handbook of Youth Citizen Social Science. Working with Young People and the Local Community for Social Change
Citizen Social Science brings together social science researchers and citizens focusing on social issues, social phenomena and the social dimensions of the world, while applying and integrating social science methodologies and theories in their collaborative research efforts. These characteristics influence, for example, the focus and management of the project, the role of the researchers and the citizens, the participatory work, and ethical concerns. There are many handbooks and guidelines for conducting citizen science, but mostly within natural sciences. Yet, there are few handbooks detailing hands-on citizen social science with young people, and focusing on co-creative qualitative or mixed-methods approaches. This handbook, and its toolkit, build on the experiences from the H2020 YouCount project (2021-2023) and represent a unique contribution to the field of citizen social science. It is, overall, an exercise on social science communication that can be useful to a wide array of publics: practitioners, academics, policymakers, youth organisations and anyone interested in citizen social science as a way of creating a future shaped by more inclusive, participatory research and social innovation.
The Handbook builds on the YouCount project which is a EU funded project that developed from 2021 to 2023 on the Horizon 2020, Science with and for Society (SwafS) programme and involves 11 partners from 9 countries across Europe. The main objective has been to generate new knowledge and innovations to increase the social inclusion of youth at risk of exclusion across Europe – through co-creative youth citizen social science. Throughout the project, we have explored and evaluated how best to work with young people and local stakeholders to increase knowledge about social inclusion based on young people’s own perspectives and to promote more inclusive science and societies.
Conducting inclusive and co-creative science is thus a core ethos for YouCount, and the Handbook intends to support these overarching scientific and social visions. Through the Handbook, we hope to enable and inspire the involvement of young people in research and social innovation – from the local to the European level, and internationally
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