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Journeys to engagement with the UK global justice movement: life stories of activist-educators

Trewby, James; (2014) Journeys to engagement with the UK global justice movement: life stories of activist-educators. Doctoral thesis , UCL Institute of Education. Green open access

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This thesis explores how individuals in the UK come to and sustain engagement with global justice issues (such as poverty, development and human rights). It responds to a scarcity of relevant research and a stated desire for greater understanding from those involved in development education and related areas. Relevant literature is used to develop: a working definition of the UK Global Justice Movement; a new conceptual framework for understanding forms of engagement; a ‘route map’ summarising knowledge about individuals’ journeys to engagement; and an understanding of current practice and debates in development education and related fields. Using narrative research techniques, the study then presents five individuals’ life stories with respect to engagement with global justice issues. The respondents come from a range of backgrounds and utilise a number of different forms of engagement, but all act in some way as educators/multipliers of engagement. Their stories are analysed using two different ‘lenses’: together, considering themes relevant to development education, and separately, investigating how concepts related to identity (Social Identity Theory, Identity Theory and Narrative Identity) can be used to understand individuals’ engagement. This analysis includes discussion of: the places in which learning happens; debates concerning learning, criticality and visits overseas; the extent to which respondents might be understood to be development educators themselves; roles they have played; the in- (and out-) groups mentioned; and the various sources of narrative available to each of them over the course of their journeys to and within engagement. Finally, the thesis suggests implications for researchers, policy makers and practitioners. This includes: future use of the concepts developed; further exploration of the potential learning value of ‘low cost’ forms engagement; supporting individuals to engage with different organisations and issues ‘across’ the movement; and, considering possibilities for work with families and faith groups.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Journeys to engagement with the UK global justice movement: life stories of activist-educators
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10021704
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