How Can a Capabilities Approach Enable Children and Young People's Voices to be Heard?

Ward, S. and McBride, M. (2019) How Can a Capabilities Approach Enable Children and Young People's Voices to be Heard? BSA Annual Conference 2019: Challenging Social Hierarchies and Inequalities, Glasgow, UK, 24-26 Apr 2019.

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In Scotland, one in four children live in poverty and this has a profound impact on their life chances. In this paper, we report on early findings from a place based approach in the East End of Glasgow which aims to improve wellbeing for young people living in disadvantaged areas. In developing our evaluation framework for this project, we have drawn heavily on the capabilities approach. Developed by Amartya Sen the Capabilities Approach (CA) is a framework which accommodates social, economic and political analysis and which holds that the wellbeing of a person should be assessed in the space of capabilities. Capabilities are the freedoms and opportunities that individuals or communities have to achieve what Sen calls functionings, what people or communities are able to do or what they are. CA highlights that people differ in their ability to convert income or commodities into valuable achievements with resources central to social justice. In this paper, we will draw on qualitative data from children and use CA to evaluate both the appropriateness of place as a site for poverty reduction and reflect on Scotland's poverty reduction strategy. We argue that through its focus on democratic deliberation not only are we able to place children's voices at the centre of the evaluation framework but we are also able to identify the barriers and facilitators that the young people face as they try to be what they want to be and achieve all they can.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ward, Dr Sarah and Mcbride, Dr Maureen
Authors: Ward, S., and McBride, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Educational Leadership & Policy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Author
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