UC student undertakes ground-breaking national research
Award-winning UC student undertakes ground-breaking national research
September 20, 2013
An award-winning University of Canterbury (UC) PhD student is undertaking ground-breaking national research by interviewing young New Zealanders about their political and societal views and concerns.
Sylvia Nissen will interview New Zealanders aged between 18 and 24 to find out how they feel about many crucial social, political and economic issues.
In addition to drawing on existing literature and statistics, Nissen will collect data in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme to help her thesis.
``My research will contribute to an
enriched understanding of young people and will help
to identify social, cultural and institutional conditions
that could support young people in a changing
Nissen this week received the National Council of Women’s 2013 Kate Sheppard Memorial Award.
``It is an honour to win the Kate Sheppard Trust Award in the 120th anniversary year of Kate Sheppard's historic campaign which led to New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to give women the vote.
``Young people have always been significant drivers of political and social change through time. The recent protests and occupations around the world are a vivid reminder of young people’s role as both protester of the status quo and agent of change.
``What we don't understand is the impact of persistent youth unemployment, precarious work and high personal debt on young people and their ability to imagine a different future and do something about it.
``My research will look at how young people's political views are expressed and shaped in Christchurch compared with other communities around the world.
``I will work with a UN research team who are developing a world survey of young people and my project will be supervised by Dr Bronwyn Hayward in the Department of Political Science.
``I hope to shed light on what helps young New Zealanders to meaningfully contribute to long term political and economic change. The research will involve exploring new forms and forums of political participation.
``Many of the issued that affected women 120 years ago are still issues today, including domestic violence, alcoholism, poverty and reproductive issues.’’
The Kate Sheppard Memorial Award provides an opportunity for a New Zealand woman to develop her potential by undertaking postgraduate study in areas which are of value to New Zealand.