What does ‘terrorism’ mean to young people? A qualitative art project

Project Details


This project aims to explore youth perceptions and interpretations of
terrorism, arising from secondary exposure to news reporting and
violent, terrorist imagery on TV, social media and wider media
(Garbarino et al., 2015; Muris et al., 2008; Stein et al., 2004;
Williams, 2006). As the first UK study to address this topic, we will
work with 60 children aged 12- 14 years attending classes in Modern
Studies (S1), at two schools in Edinburgh. The project aims are to:
1. qualitatively investigate the perceptions that children have about
violence/terrorism, as presented in the media;
2. explore their interpretations of events, in the UK and worldwide;
3. examine the relationship between children’s levels of exposure to
media coverage of violent/ terrorist activities and their
interpretations of events.
The project will create meaning through art by engaging with a
social-research artist to explore young people’s interpretations of
terrorism via an art workshop. Additional sociodemographic data will
be collected, along with information about frequency and scope of
media exposure. Two visits to each school will be organised: the first
to deliver project information and the second to run the workshops. During workshops the youths will work in small groups to create tshirt
designs comprising their ideas about the opposing concepts of
‘peace’ and ‘conflict’. They will then create a comic strip format
story: this will allow for a sense of fiction rather than fact (e.g. by
introducing a super hero into the narrative) and ensure the topic is
dealt with sensitively. A short interview with each participant will
then be undertaken to allow them to explain their work. This
interview will be audio-recorded and transcribed and the qualitative
software package NVivo will be used for data analysis. Framework
analysis will provide a systematic means of organising key thematic
issues and enable the research team to develop ways of
understanding young people’s interpretations of their artwork.
Effective start/end date20/02/17 → …