Essay (Bassey, 2007,147). Bassey further argues, that “educational action


Essay 1: Urban Youth and

In this essay I will
firstly explore what the book Urban Youth
and Schooling is about, whilst exploring the aim of the book. This essay
will go on to discuss why urban youth and schooling (2010) stands as an example
of educational research through the work of Hammersley, M (2003) and Bassey, M (2007). It will then demonstrate
Why the book is an example of qualitative research, through the work of Lichtman (2013) and O’Reilly, K. (2009). lastly, it will
go on to consider the theoretical perspective of the study by Archer et al is
‘social constructionism’ and look at how adequate the theoretical perspective
is for the study, this will be done through the work of Burr, V (2003) and Craib, (1992).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Youth and Schooling (2010) centres particularly on ‘youth
at risk’. This book is about the encounters, identities and aspiration of 89
youthful Londoners that have been recognized by their schools as ‘at risk of
dropping out or drifting away from education’ and as ‘unlikely to advance into
post- 16 educations’ (Archer et al, 2010, p1). The point of Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) Is to investigate why these children
are considered at risk to possibly dropping/ drifting away from education,
through the eyes of the children, guardians and teachers. Further the aim of
this book is to critique the labour government agenda. link
to rationale and importance of the book.



how the book stands as an example of educational research

What is educational
research? Hammersley (2003) clarifies that educational research looks “to bring
about change in peoples understanding, demeanour and behaviour” (Hammersley,
2003, 18). Hammersley contends that educational research ought to be
informative as opposed to educative (Hammersley, 2003,19). However, Bassey
(2007), claims that educational research ought to make strides to improve
education. Bassey states that “Educational research aims to critically advise
educational judgments and choices to progress educational action” (Bassey,
2007,147). Bassey further argues, that “educational action depends upon
judgments as to what is beneficial and decisions as to what to do” (Bassey,
2007, 147).

one may argue that Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) stand
as educational research as it does what Bassey (2007) and Hammersley (2003)
claim is required for research to ended up educational research, which is to
fundamentally illuminate educational judgements in order to make strides in
education, and brings about change in people attitude and behaviour, as well as
being enlightening. Urban youth and Schooling aims to improve education……. how

The research
conducted in urban youth and schooling
(2010), prime objective was “concerned with creating knowledge that was of
direct use in practical activities…” (Hammersley, 2003, 15). In Urban Youth and Schooling (2010),
researchers target educational practitioners and policy makers. The
investigate is critical of government policies, the interviews were conducted
to increment an understanding of the views, that might be disadvantageous to
London urban youth. In Chapter two of this book ‘The Street’, The Estate’ And My Trainers’, Social Class and Urban Education appears to uncover demeanours,
and offers information that researchers think will be of interest to their
audience, here is an example, “… staff stressed that the young individuals had
the ‘wrong’ kind of desires, a discourse that is fortified in policy rhetoric
around the need to ‘raise’ and ‘change a few people’s goals. The head of year
10 Riverway, states, ”this one will just get married and have children
basically and be quite happy with that” (Archer et al. 2010, 25).  The reason this quote is important is because it uncovered demeanours
and conveys knowledge that the researchers considers will be of interest to
their audience (Hammersley, 2003, 17), making it educational.

Secondly one may further argue that, Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) stands as educational research as
it seeks to better educational actions in connection to aspiration. It was proposed that policy interventions ought to back
the choices that urban youth make in respect to the decisions they would subsequently
go on to make (Archer et al, 2010, 130. Further, Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) looks at ways in which schools
could move forward “by welcoming older siblings and other young individuals
from their neighbourhood area… to talk…. About their post 16 experiences” (Archer et al, 2010, P).

 One may argue, that Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) stands as educational research as
its critical of the educational judgments and decisions, further highlights and
challenges governmental and popular discourses. One of the protuberant
discourses inside this book, is that the culpability of low educational
accomplishments is put on the youth and onto their families. Researchers point
out that policy text, depict the London young people as having a “poverty of
aspirations” (Archer et al, 2010, 79). Because of this believe about urban
youth DfES displayed a motivating force called Aim Higher in 2004, Aim Higher
sort to energize higher aspirations in these young people. In any case, the
researchers found that the urban youth did in truth have aspirations, in any
case, these goals of the urban youth weren’t regarded by the middle-class
teachers or policy makers (Archer et al, 2003, 130). Here I have put forward an
illustration of how the analysts was critical of the judgments, and the
decisions put forward through the governmental and well-known discourses. The
decision in this case would be that the urban youth had low aspirations and the
results would be the initiatives and policies aimed to increment their

It therefore appears, that urban youth and schooling
(2010) is educational research not only does it endeavour to understand “the
identities and educational engagement of urban London youth” (Archer et al,
2010, 129) it moreover looks at the powers of schooling and educational
policies, in the identities and educational engagements of the youth (Archer et
al, 2010, 129), seeking to offer assistance to those who work
in education and government to make progress.



Why is Urban Youth and Schooling
an example of qualitative research?

Qualitative research
is research that is in the form of empirical data and not numerical which is
quantitative (Punch 2009, p.3). According to Bryman “Qualitative research is a
research strategy that usually emphasizes words rather than quantification in
the collection and analysis of data” (Bryman, 2012, 380) this is because
qualitative research attempts to view the social world, through the eyes of the
subjects. (Bryman, 2012, 399)

There are many
methods used to conduct qualitative research, qualitative research can be
conducted using interviews, photo diaries, focus groups and so on. Qualitative
research is carried out in the subjects natural setting as opposed to ‘test
setting’, which would be used for the purpose of conducting quantitative
research. In Urban Youth and Schooling
(2010) the research was conducted in the participants natural day to day
setting such as schools and local cafes.

 “Each student was tracked over the course of
the two-year project and, wherever possible, interviewed three (and in some
cases four) times. While all initial interviews were conducted within one of
the six participating schools, later interviews varied in their location as the
young people’s circumstances changed” (Archer et al, 2010, 17)

Here we can see that the
research being explored, was carried out in their natural surroundings. Further
the research was conducting with a variety of qualitative research methods such
as semi- structured interviews with 53 young people in their final year of
compulsory schooling years 10 and 11 (Archer et al, 2010). This reason I
provide you with the following quote is to demonstrate why Urban Youth and
schooling is an example of qualitative research by the methods it utilise,  “In the individual interviews the
participants were asked about their educational histories, their current
experiences of school, their aspirations and future plans, their educational
choices and influences on these, their knowledge and feelings about university
and about government policies, how they described themselves and their
activities outside of school” (Archer et al 2010, 17).

Semi structured
individual interview was also conducted with a group of 5 parents, these
mothers was asked about their aspirations, hopes and expectations for their
children, their expectations of the school as a parent, their child’s learning
and achievement and issues such as careers advice. (Archer et al 2010)

Another qualitative
research methods that was used in this book was photo diaries. Archer et al
states that, “eight students were all given disposable camera and asked to take
pictures representing ‘a day in my life’ which was done over a 24-hour period”
(Archer et al 2010, 18).

Photo diary is
another qualitative research method whereby the researcher would give their
participants a camera to capture moments that would help the researcher elicit
information. Photo diaries brings together both visual images as well as words,
giving numerous dimension to the interviewee’s perspective. Qualitative
research is conducted using interpretivism, as this method seeks to gain depth
into the participants lives, gaining an empathetic understanding of their
actions, permitting researchers to see the world through the actor.     Reference for

Presently I have
investigated the techniques that make this research qualitative. I will now
look at how it can be considered qualitative through interpretivism. The
researchers in Urban Youth and Schooling
(2010) accumulate their answers utilizing an interpretivist position, by
endeavouring to understand the social world (Bryman, 2012, 380). By utilizing
an interpretivism approach, one may “explore how people or group affiliates
deliver meaning to, and express their understanding of themselves and their
experiences…” (Bartlett& Burton, 2012, 42). All through
Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) people are seen giving meaning to and
communicating their understandings, this is apparent in chapter 2, when summing
up this chapter, the author clarifies that they “analyse students…
constructions of ‘the streets’… and see how young individuals embrace ‘branded’
identities as a source of value and esteem” (Archer et al, 2010,20). Further
the researchers state that the London Urban Youth “were also agonizingly
conscious that they were looked down on by society” (Archer et al, 2010, 35).
The researchers further discover that the London Urban Youth have given
themselves a value through their appearance, and most apparently through their
trainers, which the researchers allude to as their “Nike identities” (Archer et
al, 2010, 37). So, attempting to understand the point of others, through a
different lens (O’Reilly, 2009, 122).

From the evidence
above explaining the techniques used, and looking at how Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) takes an interpretivist approach, I
argue that this book stands as qualitative rather the quantitative as the data
gathered was not in the form of numerical data and further the researchers
tried to understand how Urban London youths give meaning to and express
themselves through different lenses.


theoretical perspective is ‘social constructionism’. How adequate is this
theoretical perspective for the study?

Social constructionism attempts to make sense of the
world, it looks at how people’s substances and understandings of the world have
been socially constructed. It takes a “critical position towards taken-
for-granted ways of understanding the world and ourselves” (Burr, 2003, 3). Reality is built and reconstructed differently from
individual to individual depending on that individuals place within the world.
“For example, sexual orientation and sex, our perceptions of the world propose
to us that there are only two categories of human creatures, men and ladies.
Social constructionism offers us to truly address whether the categories ‘man’
and ‘woman’ are basically a reflection of naturally occurring distinct sorts of
human beings” (Burr, 2003, 3).

Moreover Craib (1997) contends, “many social
constructions are crucial to psychology’s disciplinary cousin, sociology, and
it is a measure of the obstructive partition of sociology and physiology since
the early twentieth century, that psychologists have only as of late found
social constructionist ideas” (Burr 2003, 2).Social constructionism argues that
individuals construct common knowledge, and understanding between each other, this
happens through our daily interactions, this may be in conversation with a
friend or whilst watching tv, and for this reason social interactions. According
to social constructionist, dialect is
essential in the process of constructing knowledge. Burr (2003) contends that an
individual thoughts and understandings are “given by the language” that an
individual employment (Burr, 2003, 9). Further,
there is a stress on the constructive power of dialect which is concerned with
how people have been built through ideologies and dialect. It is assumed that
interaction along with dialect communicates express meaning and subsequently it
is entrenched within discourse.

Social constructionism was presented as an attempt to
come to terms with the nature of reality (Hammersley, 1992). Urban Youth and Schooling (2010), is a prime demonstration of social
constructionism as it emphasises how discourse and policies shape a certain
view of the Urban, working class youth. Urban
Youth and Schooling (2010) deliberates the power of discourses, there is a
broad cluster of public discourses that are talked about especially in chapter
1, such as the news, governmental policies, film and TV. Archer et al (2010, 2)
suggest that these discourses focus on particular urban working-class areas
inside greater cities such as London, Manchester and moreover Birmingham.

The researchers in Urban
Youth and Schooling (2010) proceed to be critical of the fact that “the
pathologization of the urban spaces, in which they are constructed by the
leading imagination as ‘rubbish’ and ‘shit’…that contain the socially
excluded, ‘unfit’ and undesirable…transfer to urban schools and contaminate
the identities of the urban youth” (Archer et al. 2010, 2). Taking the past explanation into account, the
presumption can be made that the researchers chosen to use social
constructionism as theoretical viewpoint as it “redirects the issue away from
the pathologized…” (Burr. 2003, 9) and “contest oppressive and biased
practices…” (Burr. 2003, 20). This is done by using other theories and in Archer
case, theories such as hybridity was used to explain these discourses and to
make sense of them (Craib. 1992, 6-7).  Such
as hibirdity


Having looked at social constructionism and discourse.
This essay will now also discover the role of discourse in the examination of
identities, with cases from Urban Youth and Schooling (2010). Social aspects such as, culture and
identity are constructed through interactions with others. Subsequently,
individuals construct their own identities as well as others, “through our
everyday meetings with each other” (Burr, 2003, 13).  Therefore, individuals do not purposely construct
their identities, neither do they do so in the circumstances of their choice.
Urban Youth and Schooling (2010) profoundly
centres on the notion of identity, and the way in which the Urban youth
construct an identity for themselves. This can be seen by the ‘Nike identity’
that an incredible number of participants developed. A lot of them invested in
specific styles, and brands such as ‘Nike’. The researchers claimed that these
ventures were “attempts to produce and claim value and recognition…” (Archer
et al. 2010; 35). The Urban youth developed an identity through brands, such as
Nike. The ‘Nike identity’ was recognised within the youth and they had viably
“generated currency and status” (Archer et al. 2010, 36) among their peers. This
highlights that it would be improbable to form this identity had social
interaction and trading of meanings not of accrued between the youth. More
imperatively, the researchers found that the youth had established a particular
identity to “produce themselves as having worth” (Archer et al. 2010, 36). It
is apparent that as a reaction to the negative discourses inundating the urban
youth, they endeavoured to “generate esteem through forms of style…and to the
construction of what we called ‘Nike identities” (Archer et al. 2010, 132).

 Urban Youth and Schooling (2010), is a
case of educational research as it looks for to raise mindfulness with
educational practitioners by being critical of “judgments and choices made by
the government and those who work inside the field of education”. Moreover, they
too endeavour to “improve educational actions” (Bassey.2007, 147) by proposing
ways to progress issues such as aspirations. The book moreover, stands as an
illustration of qualitative research, since the strategies that are utilized to
conduct this investigate are all forms of qualitative methods, such as
semi-structured interviews and photo dairies, qualitative strategies are
utilized as it permitted the participants to unreservedly open up. This book additionally
takes an interpretivist position by attempting to see the world through the
eyes of the participant (Bartlett and Burton. 2012, 41-42) and “explore how
people or a group of individual grant meaning to, and express their
understanding of themselves and their experiences”. (Bartlett &Burton. 2012,

The theoretical perspective utilized was social
constructionism. Social constructionism includes being explanatory about how
people’s realities and understandings have been developed. It precieves the
power of discourse in constructing thoughts, views and identities. This is extremely appropriate for this
research, as it looks at features of how discourses deliver an attitude and
picture “that pre-exist those who become labelled ‘and forces certain
restrictions upon the sort of social identity that may be arranged by them”
(Archer et al. 2010; 128).
This book is critical, as it may energize
individuals to see at the world from through distinctive focal points (Craib.
1992, 257). By receiving this view, we may endeavour to comprehend and offer
assistance to those who might be pathologized within prevalent discourses in
the future.

Rational is purpose of research- to look
at how young people construct their identies….

Hybdritiy speak about the Turkish girl
once tom boy now changed has 2 pac poster…….


Personal reflection

I found certain aspects
of the module and the book difficult to grasp as it clashed with my own ideology,
which started becoming a battle in my own head, however learning to put my ideas
aside, the book and the module especially social constructionism became very interesting.





































Archer, L; Hollingworth, S and
Mendick, H (2010) Urban youth and schooling. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill. Open
University Press



Bassey, M (2007) ‘On the kinds of
research in educational settings’ in Hammersley, M (ed) Educational Research
and Evidence-Based Practice. London: Sage


Bryman, A (2012) Social Research
Methods. Oxford university Press, pg.380-399



Hamersley, M (2003) ‘can and should
Educational Research be educative?’ Oxford, Review of Education, 29: 1, pg.3-25



O’Reilly, K. (2009) ‘Interpretivism’,
In Key Concepts in Ethnography, London: Sage.