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A Question of Religion: Young People and Identity in Multi-Faith Britain

12 April 13

Please contact Professor Nicola Madge (nicola.madge@brunel.ac.uk) if you would like to attend the following free seminar. Please indicate contact details, role or job description, and any special dietary requirements.

Centre for Child and Youth Research, Brunel University



Friday, 12th April 2013

10.30am – 4.00pm

Mead Room, Hamilton Centre, Brunel University

Chair: Professor Judith Harwin, Centre for Child and Youth Research, Brunel University

10.30 – 10.50      Refreshments

10.50 – 11.00      Welcome to the seminar!

11.00 – 11.45      The Youth On Religion project: Young people and the negotiation of identity in three diverse urban locations

Professor Nicola Madge, Centre for Child and Youth Research, Brunel University

The Youth On Religion project surveyed over ten thousand young people, and talked to over 160, in secondary schools and colleges in the London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Newham, and Bradford in Yorkshire. Participants came from a range of faith and non-faith positions, and provided a wealth of information on the meaning of religion in their young lives. It was very apparent that families guided their initial religious direction but that peers, school, the community and their own personal experiences and agency became increasingly important as they grew older. This presentation examines the meaning of religious identity for young people and documents some of the landmarks they pass in their religious journey.

11.45 – 12.30      Young Sikhs

Dr Jasjit Singh, University of Leeds

This presentation will outline findings from doctoral research on religious transmission among young British Sikhs (18-30). Focusing on a number of arenas of transmission including families, Sikh camps and the internet, this presentation will outline the ways in which these various arenas allow young British Sikhs to engage with their faith. It will also demonstrate how many religious identity practices result from religious socialisation in the family.

12.30 – 13.30      LUNCH

13.30 – 14.15      Faith in education? The changing role of religion in English schools

Dr Peter Hemming, Cardiff University

The educational landscape in England is rapidly changing with the introduction and/or expansion of a range of initiatives such as free schools and academies, as well as wholesale curriculum reform. The role of religion in these developments is the focus of this presentation. The contested curriculum, the faith schools debate, and the issue of citizenship and identity are key areas of concern, contextualised within current educational policy agendas. In particular, the presentation highlights the potential for child and youth voices to contribute to our understanding of these issues, and considers the impact these developments might have on young religious identities.

14.15 – 15.00      YORvoice: Youth On Religion

Young people from the Hillingdon Youth Council and the UK Youth Parliament, and those who have participated in the Youth On Religion project, present some of their views on religion and its impact on young lives.

15.00 – 15.15      TEA AND BISCUITS

15.15 – 16.00      Growing up with disability in Pakistani Muslim families

Dr Debbie Kramer-Roy, Brunel University

This paper presents findings from a study of Pakistani Muslim families bringing up disabled children. Religion was a strong part of their daily lives, and parents talked about how personal faith influenced the way they experienced becoming the parents of disabled children and living with them in their communities. While mothers tended to talk about the shift from feelings of distress and shame to considering their child a blessing from God, fathers reported how they turned to religious leaders and scriptures to learn more about disability and its meaning. Siblings reported generally positive views but also indicated some frustration at the restrictions that a disabled brother or sister imposed.

16.00                     END OF SEMINAR

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