"Not that different" - Young people's attitudes to and experiences of contact with people from minority ethnic groups
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work ARK, Queen's University Belfast Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Being one of the few European countries that experienced population loss due to outward migration in the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the Peace Process, in the previous decade Northern Ireland has experienced significant inward migration, in particular from Eastern European EU- accession states. This sudden inward migration has led to
In this presentation I will report on a research project funded by the Northern Ireland government to explore 16-year olds attitudes to, and experiences of contact with, people from minority ethnic groups in Northern Ireland. The research was jointly undertaken by the UK's National Children's Bureau (NCB) and ARK, a joined initiative by the two universities in Northern Ireland. A participatory mixed-methods approach was employed. Questions were asked of a large random sample of 16-year olds in the Young Life and Times (YLT) survey, which is undertaken annually by ARK. The 2008 YLT survey was followed up by more in-depth exploration of "Attitudes to difference" in seven post-primary schools across Northern Ireland. A short all-school survey was administered in these schools which part-duplicated questions asked in the 2008 YLT survey. Interactive focus groups were then conducted with 16-year old pupils in each of the seven schools. Finally, brief one-to-one interviews were conducted with young people from minority ethnic backgrounds. For the second part of the study ten peer researchers were recruited from participating schools and trained to work alongside the senior ARK and NCB researchers throughout the second part of the project. They helped to design and conduct the interactive focus groups and one-to-one interviews. Peer researchers were also involved in data analysis, writing up and dissemination of the project?s findings.
In this proposed presentation I will report on the process of undertaking social research with peer researchers. I will also report on the main findings of the project.