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City’s youth to contribute to social research

City’s youth to contribute to social research project

What goes on within Wellington’s youth scene - clubbing, dance parties and raves, alcohol and other drug use, social groups, relationships and fashion - has never been studied in-depth, until now.

Victoria University criminology lecturer, Dr Fiona Hutton, is about to embark on a major study of the City’s youth and club culture and she is looking for young people in the 18-25 age range to talk to about their experiences.

Dr Hutton, who has written a thesis on social behaviour within the British clubbing scene, believes her research will provide valuable information for the city’s service providers and also identify the extent to which young people are taking risks that could affect their health and well-being.

“There’s a huge gap in research and knowledge about the youth scene in Wellington – and around New Zealand in general – so one of the aims of the project is to give people a chance to speak frankly about exactly what goes on at clubs and around town.

“What we’ll end up with is a snapshot of youth and club culture that, among other things, will allow us to establish whether there are safety and health issues that we need to direct more attention towards.”

Dr Hutton needs to talk to a variety of young Wellingtonians for her research. She says information will be treated in the strictest confidence and young people will not be named at any stage of the research. The research has also been approved by the University’s Human Ethics Committee.

“This is a great opportunity for young people to talk honestly about exactly what they do, where they go, and who they ‘hang out’ with. At the same time, they will be able to contribute to research that has the potential to influence the City’s decision makers.

“If people are able to help me in my research I’ll arrange to meet them in a café or bar for a coffee, in a place that’s easy for them to get to. I’ll also reimburse their travel expenses.”

Dr Hutton is one of eight academics in the Institute of Criminology in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Victoria University, New Zealand's only dedicated criminology programme. Criminology is the study of crime and the social response to crime and also addresses many fundamental questions about the nature of society, social order and the law.

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