An Intersectional Analysis of Child and Adolescent Inclusion in Local Participation Processes

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

An Intersectional Analysis of Child and Adolescent Inclusion in Local Participation Processes


  • Noemi Laforgue Faculty of Education, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Spain
  • Marta Sabariego Faculty of Education, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Antonio Ruiz Faculty of Education, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Ana Belén Cano-Hila Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Barcelona, Spain


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Abstract:  Educational and social initiatives promoting participation among children and adolescents struggle with the widely‐held notion that non‐adult stages of life are merely transitory and that, therefore, non‐adults’ views on public life are of less value. Apart from this hurdle of adult‐centrism, there are other obstacles to the full participation of this segment of the population. The present study analyses the inbuilt structures that help or hinder children and adolescents’ participation in the local arena. Being ascribed to one or other of the social categories (gender, origins, racialisation, economic status, functional diversity, physical and mental health, gender identity), in addition to being a child or adolescent, involves a further difficulty in exercising one’s rights in general and the right of participation in particular, and this weakens young people’s social inclusion and exercise of citizenship, deepening their social vulnerability. This is where the intersectional approach can help us avoid the exclusion of children and adolescents with added social barriers. In this article, we survey 191 local youth workers to determine their perceptions of inclusivity in child participation bodies in their municipality. The specific measures in place are also discussed. Lastly, we identify the challenges to children’s inclusion in local participation processes and some strategies for advancing towards the creation of more diverse and inclusive arenas of participation.

Keywords:  child participation; childhood; intersectionality; municipalities; social inclusion; youth participation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v10i2.5094


© Noemi Laforgue, Marta Sabariego, Antonio Ruiz, Ana Belén Cano‐Hila. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.