Enhancing a sense of self in a group of socially marginalised adolescent boys through participatory action research

Damons, Lynne Nesta (2014-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation sought to understand the experience of six participants as members of a cluster group of socially marginalised youth in a farmworker community. Through a collaborative process, the study sought to reframe the perceptions around the behavioural outcomes of membership to such an outcast group. Theories of empowerment through active participation underpinned the whole study. The study was qualitative in nature and used a Participatory Action research methodology which created the space for creative exploration with enabling methodologies such as the Youth Engagement Cycle and Activity Theory. Data were collected through focus group- and semi-structured interviews; participant observation and participant generated artefacts. Six adolescent males who were part of an already established cluster group of socially marginalised youth at a school were purposively selected into the study. The analysis of data was an ongoing and iterative process informed by the theories that underpinned the study and through content analysis of emerging themes. The study revealed that the cluster group was not formed with delinquent intent. Instead, it was created as a space that allowed its members to feel a sense of belonging, security and being valued. However, the group dynamic caused individual self-efficacy to become so enmeshed with collective agency that if left unchecked, it had the potential to propel its members along a trajectory to delinquency. The dissertation recommends understanding cluster groups as unique heterogeneous entities that show insight and empathy into the challenges their cohorts experience. Recognising that this elevates the peer group's influence above that of adults the study recommends a collaborative, well-structured and strategic intervention that allows individuals to experience success and self-influence in attaining mastery within the group dynamic.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie verhandeling het ten doel gehad om ses deelnemers se ervaring as lede van 'n 'cluster' groep gemarginaliseerde jongmense binne 'n plaaswerker gemeenskap te probeer verstaan. Deur middel van 'n proses van samewerking, het die studie gepoog om die persepsies rakende die gedragsuitkomste van lidmaatskap binne so 'n geïsoleerde groep te herformuleer. Die hele studie is gebaseer op teorie van bemagtiging deur middel van aktiewe deelname. Die verhandeling was kwalitatief van aard en het gebruik gemaak van 'n Deelnemende Aksie Navorsingsmetodologie wat ruimte geskep het vir kreatiewe ontdekking met bemagtigende metodologieë soos bv. "Youth Engagement Cycle" en "Activity Theory". Data is ingesamel deur middel van 'n fokusgroep en semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude; deelnemer waarneming en deelnemer gegenereerde artefakte. Ses adolessente mans wat reeds deel was van 'n gevestigde groep sosiaal-gemarginaliseerde jongmense by 'n skool, is doelbewus geselekteer vir die studie. Die analise van die data was 'n deurlopende en iteratiewe proses wat belig is deur die teorieë waarop die studie gebaseer was asook deur inhoudsanalise van die ontluikende temas. Die studie het getoon dat die 'cluster' groep nie gevorm is met misdaad as doel nie. Inteendeel, die groep het ontstaan as 'n ruimte wat sy lede toegelaat het om 'n mate van geborgenheid, sekuriteit en waardering te ervaar. Die groepsdinamiek het individuele self-doeltreffendheid toegelaat om so verbonde te raak met kollektiewe agentskap dat indien dit nie gekontroleer was nie, dit die potensiaal getoon het om sy lede op 'n trajek van jeugmisdaad te plaas. Die verhandeling beveel dus aan dat 'n 'cluster' groep gesien word as 'n unieke heterogene entiteit wat insig en empatie toon met die uitdagings wat lede ervaar. Op grond van die feit dat dit die portuurgroep se invloed bo die van die volwassenes verhef, wil die studie 'n samewerkende, goedgestruktureerde en strategiese bemiddeling aanbeveel wat die individu sal toelaat om sukses en selfgelding te ervaar met die bereiking van bemeestering binne die dinamiek van die groep.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86657
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