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The writing and re-reading of one's own experiences financial aid to integrate young people at risk of exclusion, according to one thesis

Sofía Brotóns, from the ICS of the University of Navarra, has collected 300 texts written by teenagers from the Etxabakoitz Workshop School and the Bridge Centre.

FotoManuelCastells/Sofía Brotóns, from Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra

18 | 10 | 2021

Writing and rereading one's own experiences financial aid to improve self-knowledge and future prospects of young people at risk of exclusion, and to integrate them into society. This is what Sofía Brotóns Arnau concludes in her doctoral thesis , carried out in the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra in the framework of the doctoral program of the School of Philosophy and Letters.

To carry out his research, Brotóns collected 300 texts written by adolescents from two observation and reception centres for minors in Navarre: the Etxabakoitz Workshop School (Pamplona) and the Puente Centre (Puente la Reina). In them, the young people addressed issues such as identity, the future, the family, friendship and self-esteem.

He then invited the authors to confront their texts in order to "enter into a dialogue with themselves, which would give them the keys to configure their vital narrative and facilitate their integration", he explains.

It aimed to show "that writing and re-reading help to better project the future and, ultimately written request, to replace loneliness with self-pity". Another finding is that the use of narratives is a useful and effective method for research on young people at risk.

guide methodology for professionals

This doctoral thesis carried out at group 'Public discourse' of the ICS bore one of its fruits in March 2021, months before the defence: the development of the guide Methodological - RYOS Narratives Programme ("Rewrite your own story"). The project was developed jointly with the Social Reality Observatory of the Social Rights department of the Government of Navarre, within the framework of partnership that both institutions maintain through the laboratory Permanent Social Innovation.

The guide is aimed at professionals from work social and occupational therapists whose field of work is focused on adolescents at risk of social exclusion, as well as management and coordination teams dedicated to the training of these young people. It will favour the work of professionals and, ultimately written request, the integration and development of minors.

Sofía Brotóns received a scholarship de mobility for programs of study from research of doctorate, granted by the Caja Navarra Foundation, to carry out a stay at the University of Otago (New Zealand). There, together with Elaine Reese, from department Psychology, she studied methods of text analysis to understand how narratives can shape identity and thus promote inclusion. She also contributed to a pioneering research on Maori adolescents, "Growing up in New Zealand".