Youth Citizenship beyond Consensus: Examining the Role of Satire and Humour for Critical Engagements in Citizenship Education

  • Kathrin Hörschelmann
  • Elisabeth El Refaie
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


A key aim of youth citizenship programmes over the last 20 years has been the realization of participation rights enshrined in the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, enabling young people to contribute to decision-making on issues that directly affect them. While one of the positive outcomes of this has been greater recognition amongst policymakers of young people’s rights to be consulted, there has been a tendency to concentrate on ‘local’ or ‘national’ issues and to continue treating young people as apprentices who still have to achieve the status of citizens (see Lawy and Biesta, 2006; Skelton, 2010), assuming that in order to become ‘good’ citizens, they need to adopt a ready-made set of civil values, as outlined, for instance, by Crick (2000), in his recommendations for British citizenship education. Young people have been positioned as waiting and learning rather than as active members of society who already practice citizenship at a range of scales in their everyday lives (Kallio and Häkli, 2011; Skelton, 2010; Buckingham, 2000). As Lawy and Biesta (2006, p. 42) argue:

Current policy and educational practice have been informed by the idea of citizenship-as-achievement […] The major problem with the idea of citizenship-as-achievement — a status that is achieved only after one has traversed a particular developmental and educational trajectory — is that it does not recognize the claims to citizenship of young people.


Young People Citizenship Education Political Geography Youth Culture Critical Engagement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kathrin Hörschelmann and Elisabeth El Refaie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathrin Hörschelmann
  • Elisabeth El Refaie

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