Advocacy confidential : narrative accounts of youth engaged in environmental and social justice advocacy
Dowling, Kieran Thomas
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This study explores the phenomena of burnout as a social construct with youth engaged in social change movements. Using a dialogic narrative methodology I interviewed seven youth engaged within environmental and/or social justice advocacy to explore whether burnout exists for these young change makers. The interviews provide narrative accounts exploring how and why the youth engage with their chosen advocacy vocations and what feelings are associated with their reasons for engagement. The relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, self-determination, and the emotional dimensions of social change offer an insight to the way youth construct meaning of their advocacy work, particularly in relation to their sense of agency. The exploration of experiences through open dialogue suggests that youth may be pressured by societal factors into undertaking isolating roles of leadership within contemporary social change movements. The research also points to a socially defined representation of burnout within the youth cohort.
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