The objectification and gaze of at-risk youths - An anthropological study of at-risk youths’ reflexive filmmaking in three institutional contexts
This thesis concerns the ways in which a selection of at-risk youths constructed meaning and managed their identities within the frames of ‘Youth Gaze’ film courses. The Youth Gaze initiative was comprised of a series of participatory courses in reflexive filmmaking designed by visual anthropologists and carried out in collaboration with social and health institutions across Norway engaging with at-risk youths. These institutional collaborators hosted the courses and recruited participants; the visual anthropologists led the courses; and the youth participants made short films about their lives and experiences. The present study explores the filmmaking processes and films generated by the Youth Gaze participants and provides three in-depth case studies to illustrate how the courses differed as a function of the institutional collaborator. Analytical attention is paid to the ways in which the youths constructed meaning and managed their identities in the context of the social dynamics that developed in their particular course and the social prerequisites bound to the institutional setting and state policies. Particular focus is given to the types of identities that the at-risk youths deemed relevant and feasible to adopt in their interactions with the social and health support network. The analyses are theoretically based on the symbolic interactionist perspectives of G.H. Mead and Erving Goffman, combined with Reidar Grønhaug’s methodological-analytical procedure of field analysis. A central finding is that each of the courses generated a particular film form that closely paralleled the aims and practices of the respective institutional setting. This indicates that the support network surrounding at-risk youths not only supports and guides the youths, but also delineates their spaces of action and concepts of self.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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