Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Hilary Tierney
‘Standpoints’: Attitudes to Global Justice Among Young People and Youth Workers in Ireland
XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology. Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Sociology
Yokohama, Japan
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
th workers in Ireland towards development and global justice issues, and of initiatives taken in youth work contexts to raise awareness and promote action in relation to such issues . Young people’s views ranged from the very knowledgeable, critically aware and insightful to the uninformed and apathetic, with the majority in between these two positions, showing some limited knowledge of global issues or relationships but an appreciation of their relevance and a willingness to explore them further . Youth workers (particularly but not only those with direct development experi-ence) for the most part showed a high level of knowledge and awareness of global issues and relationships, and of the links between the global and the local . There were however considerable divergences of opinion among them as to the inter-pretation of certain key concepts, including ‘global justice’ itself. Some young people gave examples of actions they had taken themselves in response to global issues and concerns (for example decisions about where or what to buy), but respondents on balance felt relatively ineffectual with regard to such issues . While the youth workers were much more likely than the young people to say that they thought they could make a personal difference to how the world works, there were very different views of how this could be done; and the researchers noted that workers commonly spoke in terms of what they could or should do in response to development and global justice issues rather than describing what they had done or were currently doing . Overall the research suggests that there is a high degree of ambivalence regarding the nature of global justice, the operation of key, related concepts such as power and agency and the relevance of these to youth work practice .