Youth and community: connections and disconnections

Roxana Cavalcanti, Carlie Goldsmith, John Lea, Lynda Measor, Peter Squires, David Wolff

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This project engaged with a series of issues concerning the ‘connectedness’ of young people with their communities and community agencies. We consulted research which has explored the life-worlds of young people in materially poor communities, developing our review via a critical re-interpretation of discourses of ‘community’ and of ‘social capital’. We advocated the adoption and development of research methodologies which enhance the ability to investigate these issues further, exploring the nature and consequences of neo-liberal social and political changes at community level whilst contributing to problem-solving and social justice. The evidence provided ample testimony of the complex and ‘ambiguously connected’ lives of young people in poor communities. In feeding our findings back to a series of community meetings, we compared the themes from the literature with issues raised by community members – including young people. Respondents were chiefly concerned, by the impact of social change upon their lives and communities; by the ways in which growing inequalities and blocked opportunities impacted upon the experiences of young people and, above all, by a sense that dis-connection and social fragmentation were resulting from political decisions resulting in the loss of community resources and a diminishing ‘commitment to welfare’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBrighton
PublisherArts & Humanities Research Council (Connected Communities Programme)
Commissioning bodyArts and Humanities Research Council
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Researchers and Project Partners: CUPP (Community-University Partnership Programme); The Crew Club (Brighton); East Brighton Community Crime Prevention Forum; North Laine Community Association.
This is an ‘end-of-research’ project summary report, hosted on the Research council’s (AHRC) website.


  • Young people
  • social capital
  • community development
  • inequality
  • dis-connection
  • marginality


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