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Youth participation in the choice of leisure time

Erika Jamnik (2011) Youth participation in the choice of leisure time. MSc thesis.

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    This master's thesis addresses the theme of maturation and the spending of leisure time through the “eyes of the youth”. We want to integrate into the Slovenian area the term “good locations” , which includes those important segments of accommodations of youth, where they feel good and where they frequent. The aforementioned term is also a means for help in the pedagogical (operations), because it illustrates specific activities, which can have an educational effect on an individual or a group. The theoretical part starts with a discourse about socialization, primary as well as secondary. In the context of primary socialization we are also interested in risk factors within the family, which can also be the cause for the child to be put in an institution . Secondary socialization refers to everything else, which is not connected with the immediate family. Even the development of largely depends on secondary socialization, especially on peers, who implicitly and explicitly “decide” about the spending of leisure time. A theory of group socialization, which was “created” by an American psychologist Rich Harris, is presented here. Along with the fore mentioned segments of secondary socialization specific “good locations” and general effects of the social environment and society is highlighted. It is the youth’s wish to have maturation progress in accordance with their interests. This can only be accomplished if the youth participates in the selection of spending their time and, with that, participate in their own maturation. Secondary socialization is bound to the institutions which the children and youth are involved in by law . We focus on primary school, as an institution in which the participation is mandatory for youth, and institutional education, where some children and youth find themselves due to unforeseeable circumstances. This adds a short depiction of school, risk factors in school and the role of the teacher to the theoretical part. A short history of institucional education, its operation and a specific institutional education of children and youth with behavioural and personality disorders is next. As a counterweight to the totality of institutional care humanization, normalization and inclusion is mentioned. The theoretical part is concluded with Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model, which illustrates all the systems and subsystems, in which an individual operates. The empirical part represents the analysis of qualitative research, which included the population of youth aged from 12 to 16. The focus of interviews was on thinking about specific “good locations”, important persons, facing crisis and the ways of spending leisure time. Based on the analysis of the interviews we enable the reader to see into a few segments of maturation of today’s youth. Analysis includes a discourse about specific “good locations” where the youth is spending their time. Playgrounds, youth clubs, or better, the wish for these kinds of places and a personal room, which is also a sanctuary in crisis, are highlighted. We found a few differences in the selection of during the week “good locations” among the youth who live at home and those that are in an institutional care facility. The research showed smaller gender discrepancies in the choice. Further analysis shows the opinion of adults about “good locations”, which is bad, negative. Main focus of the research is on the youth’s spending of leisure time. The findings point to the fact that active spending of youth’s leisure time includes sports activities, hiking and helping with daily chores. Passive spending of youth’s leisure time is watching TV, using a computer and chatting with friends. The research showed us that the youth would want to spent their leisure time better, if they had the necessary means and a greater choice, this is especially true for the youth in institutional care. Friends are a vital and the most important factor during maturity. The results of our research also point to that fact. Friends are the ones the youth confide in, spend their time with, and have common interests. It is with friends they also experience alcohol, drugs and sex for the first time. Friends are the most important people during maturity. The research shows that friends are a lifeline in crisis for some, because the youth talks about problems amongst each other. However, there are some who rather isolate themselves in their room, listen to music and wait for problems to pass. The primary goal and purpose of the research is participation of youth in spending leisure time, in other words, so that they would be heard, to try and enable them to spend leisure time with more quality and with that an easier transition into adulthood. We would like to appeal to different institutions to help with creating some sort of model for the occupation of youth during their leisure time with this research. We are thinking of a model with a goal as simple as getting the youth “off the street”. We cannot imagine the model without the participation of youth. They would be invited to participate with the phisical construction of the model (space, equipment, color of walls, furniture) and, of coure, with the planning and the implementation of activities, which would be offered. We want to offer the youth an option of cooperating at different themed workshops, where they would also invite guests or lecturers (drugs, sex, media, arts, literary and fashion workshops …), films that show maturation or current affairs, organized field trips and competitions, and we believe there would be nothing wrong if there was also billiards or similar “games” available for passive breaks, if we can call them that. We believe that at least an additional reference person (social educator), who the youth can turn to at every moment, is required within this kind of a model. We cannot imagine the realization of the model without the cooperation of local schools, associations and also an educational institution if one is in the vicinity. We believe that the presented model means a great contribution in pedagogical capital, because it contains an important component and, with it, the help or preventive operation in education. The cooperation of youth also means their participation in a life oriented education.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: socialization, family, peers, environment, identity, theory of group socialization, participation, leisure time, institutional education, inclusion, ecological psychology
    Number of Pages: 146
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Mitja KrajnčanMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=8959305)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 359
    Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2011 09:12
    Last Modified: 18 Oct 2011 09:12
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/359

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