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This seminar is the first from the newly established Youth and Justice Network in the Department of History, Sociology and Criminology. It will explore current questions regarding young people in today’s world, including social media, digital risks and responsibilities, violent extremism agenda prevention as well as young people’s civic engagement ‘dilemmas’.

The Youth and Justice Network aims to open and facilitate national and international communication in contemporary youth issues, by creating opportunities for knowledge exchange between research and teaching, practice and policy communities.

Current members of the Youth and Justice Network are engaged in projects that seek to challenge the structural marginalisation of children and young people and explore a range of contemporary issues in the field, such as:

  • Children, young people and social media
  • Cyberbullying and ‘sexting’
  • The recruitment and online radicalisation of young people
  • Children and young people navigating transition from conflict
  • Children and young people ‘in conflict with the law’ and their experiences of the criminal justice system.

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‘Engaging People’: To engage or disengage; your move!

Assan Ali, Youth and community engagement specialist with extensive experience in the public sector and community sector, and Co-founder and Trustee of the Mile End Community Project.

"What's the point?”, “Why should I bother?”, “It won't make a difference!"

The above are all familiar statements made by young people. Whether it is Brexit, the elections, local politics – they all impact our future.  This presentation draws on young people's civic engagement 'dilemmas' particularly focusing on the Preventing Violent Extremism agenda.

Children, Young People and the Media in a Post-Conflict, Transitioning Society: A Knowledge Exchange Case Study and Outcomes

Dr Faith Gordon, Director of the Youth Justice Network and Lecturer in Criminology, University of Westminster.

This presentation will draw on research findings from over ten years of research on children, young people and media representations and media engagement. Faith engaged with over 170 children and young people, as well as organisations working with children and young people, media representatives, politicians, police and other criminal justice agencies. 

Faith’s post-doctoral research project will be utilised to demonstrate how innovative knowledge exchange is, and how it has been, employed to successfully foster dialogue and build working relationships between academics, NGOs and communities, as well as develop guidelines and tool-kits for those working in youth organisations and in the media. The research was referred to by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Recommendations for Future Policy-Making and Training: A Case Study of Youth Perspectives on “Risky” Social Media Content

Holly Powell-Jones, Deputy-Director, Youth Justice Network, PhD Candidate, Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism – City, University of London.

Schools in the UK face increasing pressure to educate pupils about the Internet, social media and new technologies, with a particular focus on addressing issues like ‘cyberbullying’ and ‘sexting’. One challenge facing both educators and legislators is ignorance about young people's digital lives, not only in terms of which apps and sites are being used, but also the changing social norms shared by younger generations growing up online. 

Based on participant-observation of 11-18 year olds during Social Media Law and Ethics workshops at state secondary schools, this research explores how young people construct digital risks and responsibilities.