Theses Doctoral

Humane Citizenship: A Participatory Ethnography Engaging with Young People's Multi-Consciousness in an Alternative-to-Detention Afterschool Program

Park, Ahram

“What does it mean to be a person in the world?” has been a question that initiated this study with young people in an alternative-to-detention afterschool program. I used a participatory ethnographic approach to explore how a group of young people identify themselves by negotiating the labels placed on them. This study engaged with the philosophical reflections of Du Bois’s double consciousness and Greene’s continuous being to offer a conceptual framework of multi-consciousness. This multi-consciousness framework offered a way to examine young people’s geographical, ideological, linguistic, social, economical, and other representational boundaries. Similar to the intrinsically intertwined banyan tree, young people's lives intertwined through their demographic identities, their involvement in the digital and physical spaces, and their status in the justice system. The data for the study were collected through a participatory ethnographic approach using traditional ethnographic methods, such as conducting interviews, making participant observant, and co-producing artifacts with young people. These artifacts provided insight into the intricate relationships of how young people practice everyday citizenship in their daily lives. This study called for the embodiment of humane citizenship that included young people—particularly those in the juvenile justice system—to engage not as ornamental collaborators, but rather as genuine contributors who shape how we freely include and participate across the multiple networks in which we live and exist.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Vasudevan, Lalitha M.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2019