Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement (PROMISE 2016–2019)
Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement (PROMISE) was an EU funded research project aiming to explore young people’s role in shaping society; past, present and future. The project brought together twelve collaborating centres in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, the Russian Federation, Croatia and the UK. The project was coordinated by the University of Manchester.
Young people are often at the forefront of social, cultural and political change, often driven by their energy and creativity, but also by their frustration at the challenges they face. PROMISE investigated young people’s responses to these challenges, and sought ways to transform this into positive social achievement. Through an understanding of the experiences, values and attitudes of European youth PROMISE will get to the heart of barriers and opportunities for social engagement.
PROMISE has focused specifically on young people ‘in conflict’ with authority, and usually, therefore, in conflict with social norms. We contend that these ‘conflicted youth’ are seen to be the most problematic in terms of positive social engagement, often triggering negative and punitive responses from authority, in turn furthering marginalisation and stigmatisation. The negative effects of stigma and marginalisation reduce opportunities for young people to engage positively in social action, and as a result, much of the creativity, innovation and energy within these groups is directed away from positive social change. PROMISE was built on belief that conflicted youth present significant opportunities for change and should therefore be the prime focus of policy makers and practitioners.
The Finnish substudy
The Finnish substudy consisted of two ethnographic case studies. Post doctoral researcher Heta Mulari explored how young people and young adults become active by using different public and semipublic spaces in Helsinki. The key research context was a youth cultural and community centre, which has its roots in underground antiracist and punk movements. Post doctoral researcher Marja Peltola's case study focused on young mothers with multicultural background. She explored how young(ish) mothers themselves see young motherhood and how they position themselves as mothers and young women in the era of ‘prolonged youth’, when becoming a mother at an early age is associated in public discussions with many risks and concerns. The Finnish substudy also involved a quantitative survey, which was coordinated by statistical researcher Tiina Hakanen. The Finnish substudy was lead by Researcher Director Leena Suurpää (2016) and Research Manager Kaisa Vehkalahti (2017-2019)
The project has been funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Grant Agreement no. 693221. It has run for three years from May 2016 to April 2019.
Collated PROMISE Policy Briefs (March 2019)
Collated PROMISE case-studies (pdf-file, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Russia, and the UK, February 2019)
Short comparative country report Finland: National Report level 2 (pdf-file, February 2019)
Heta Mulari: Intergenerational Contest and Spatial Occupation in the City
- Finland Policy Brief 2018 - Intergenerational Contest and Spatial Occupation in the City (pdf-file, October 2018)
- Case study report: Intergenerational Contests (pdf-file, May 2018)
Marja Peltola: Young Motherhood in Multicultural Finland
- Finland Policy Brief 2018 - Young Motherhood in Multicultural Finland (pdf-file, October 2018)
- Case study report: Young Motherhood (May 2018)
Research outputs from all consortium partners can be found at the University of Manchester website (Open Access).
PhD, Adjunct Professor of Cultural and Social History
B.Soc.Sc., Social and public policy