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Seeking outsider perspectives in interpretive research: young adults and citizen participation in health policy.

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    Rights statement: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-215
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Issue number2
Early online date29 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Policy researchers face a range of pressures to incorporate the perspectives of ‘hard-to-reach’ groups in their research. In the specific case of public involvement policy in health (one example of the growing field of citizen participation initiatives in administrative contexts), researchers have struggled to accomplish this without compelling research participants to enter into a policy discourse that is unfamiliar and may be at odds with their self-understood roles as patients and citizens. This paper presents findings from an interpretive project which sought to understand the perspectives of young adults on local practices of public involvement in a socio-economically deprived area of Scotland. It recounts the researcher’s shifting standpoint in response to silences and absences within young adults’ reaction to the project, and argues that the everyday ‘tactics’ young adults described using in their interactions with health services be reimagined as relevant, albeit challenging forms of citizen participation.

    Research areas

  • citizen participation, hard-to-reach populations, health policy, interpretive policy analysis, Scotland

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