Young People in Newfoundland and Labrador: Community Connectedness and Opportunities for Social Inclusion

Issahaku, Paul Alhassan and Adam, Anda (2022) Young People in Newfoundland and Labrador: Community Connectedness and Opportunities for Social Inclusion. SAGE Open, 12 (3). ISSN 2158-2440

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Globally, young people are a major demographic group and a key constituency in socioeconomic policy considerations. However, in a neoliberal era, the social inclusion of youth is in jeopardy. This qualitative study explored young people’s connectedness to community and opportunities for social inclusion in Newfoundland and Labrador. The perspectives of social capital, social exclusion, and sense of community provided a theoretical framework for the study. A purposive sample of 23 youth aged 15 to 24 years provided data through interviews, which we analyzed inductively, using thematic analysis. We found that young people connected to their communities through informal associations and non-profit organizations. These structures provided networks of supportive relationships and inclusive spaces, where young people felt a sense of belonging, and had opportunities for participation. Opportunities took the form of resources and activities that promoted personal growth and community building. For example, through associations and non-profit organizations, participants engaged in general educational development, entrepreneurial training, part-time and volunteer work, and advocacy. However, participants also reported some barriers to inclusion in their communities. Personal level factors, such as illness and environmental level factors, such as low-income and social stigma were barriers to inclusion. These findings provide a basis for policymakers and practitioners to promote youth social inclusion in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 15614
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: young people, community connectedness, social inclusion, social exclusion forces, Newfoundland and Labrador
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: 20 July 2022
Date Type: Publication
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
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