Productions of space: Civic participation of young people at university

Mary Ryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Civic participation of young people around the world is routinely described in deficit terms, as they are labelled apathetic, devoid of political knowledge, disengaged from the community and selfabsorbed. This paper argues that the connectivity of time, space and social values are integral to understanding the performances of young people as civic subjects. Today's youth negotiate unstable social, economic and environmental conditions, new technologies and new forms of community. Loyalty, citizenship and notions of belonging take on new meanings in these changing global conditions. Using the socio-spatial theories of Lefebvre and Foucault and the tools of critical discourse analysis this paper argues that the chronotope, or time/space relationship of universities, produces student citizens who, in resistance to a complex global society, create a cocooned space, which focuses on moral and spiritual values that can be enacted on a personal level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1031
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


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