Children and Young People's Active Civic Engagement and Their Participation in Decision-Making in Organizations

Topics: Citizenship, Youth, Civics Pages: 7 (2521 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Children and young people's active civic engagement and their participation in decision-making in organizations has attracted a lot of interest in recent times. Discuss the key issues that emerge in considering either children’s or young people's civic engagement, focusing on at least one particular site of engagement (for example, education, community, politics).

In the course of recent changes to the context and content of youth transitions the notion of citizenship has come to the fore as a means of discussing young people’s move into independent membership of society. Youth is an expansive moment, and young people moving towards social majority invariably feel the need for room to nurture and explore their emergent sense of themselves as individual people. However, children and young people are often seen as immature and lack of capability to participate in adult world, they have become semi-citizen overall. In this paper, I would like to discourse the different views of children and young people’s active civic engagement and their participation in decision-making in organizations. I will address Cohen’s (2005) two views of children in this paper, which is paternal and minor theory. I will also discuss the key issues that emerge in considering either children’s or young people’s civic engagement. Lastly, I will focus on the education engagement of children and young people to better address the issues.

In order to discuss the issue that children and young people’s active civic engagement, it’s better to give the definition of citizenship first, and then explore children and young people’s role in citizenship. According to Hall, the meaning that citizenship actually has in people’s lives and the ways in which people’s social and cultural backgrounds and material circumstances affect their lives as citizen (Hall&Williamson,1999:2).While children may lack full capability to act in the citizens, the political status to which they have been relegated leaves much to be desired. Roche argues that the demand that children be included in citizenship is simply a request that children be seen as members of society too, with a legitimate and valuable voice and perspectives (1999:479).Lacking independent representation or a voice in politics and organizations, children and their interests often fail to be understood because the adults who do represent them conflate, or substitute, their own views for those of children. Children and young people are widely seen as lack of capacity. Such as rationality, cognition, dependency, and children is often have the need of protection from school and parents, and they are lack of life experiences to handle the problems.

There has been much discourse about whether children and young people should active civic engagement, and whether they should participate in decision-making in organizations. Elizabeth F.Cohen is one of the supporter of children’s voices should be heard and seen by the democratic society. She argues that children and young people are ill-governed and neglected by democratic politics (2005). Children are simultaneously assumed to be citizens: they hold passports but they are judged to be incapable of citizenship in that they cannot make the rational and informed decisions that characterize self-governed. Theorists, both of democratic politics and of citizenship, have had difficulty addressing questions pertaining to the governance of children in liberal democracies and few explore the issue beyond pointing out that children don not hold full citizenship (Cohen, 2005:222). It is easy enough to argue that children should not be civic engage in democratic deliberation because they lack the fundamental capacities, furthermore, Cohen argues that children have claims on things that adults do not, a fact that makes them exception in a number of ways that even other adult semi-citizens are not (2005). Dahl discourse that children are seen as a justifiable and somewhat...
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