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Recognition as a framework for ethical participatory research: Developing a methodology with looked after young people

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jan 2013
DatePublished (current) - 2014
Issue number5
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)475-488
Early online date2/01/13
Original languageEnglish


This paper reflects on a project which involved the authors working in partnership with a working group of looked after children and young people established by a small unitary local authority to develop a pledge defining what support, services and care looked after children can expect from them. The authors aimed to develop an approach which ensured that the young people's voices were heard and also that the well-being of those involved as participants remained at the centre of the process throughout. We argue that Honneth's theory of recognition, which identifies three forms of recognition as important to ensure that human beings feel assured of their dignity or integrity - in brief, love, rights and solidarity - offers a useful framework for achieving this. The main principles which emerged were: i) building the research around the young people's existing relationships, ii) respecting the group's decisions and iii) honouring the views expressed.

    Research areas

  • participatory research, recognition, children , young people

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