Projects & research

Youth Activism and Citizenship Education

In 2007-2008, I spent a year interviewing, shadowing, and conducting focus groups with young activists (ages 13-29) in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada, who were involved in social movements that challenged the state. The work culminated in several articles and a book, Citizen Youth: Culture, Activism, and Agency in a Neoliberal Era.  I framed the research within a critical historiography of citizenship education in Canada, and the making of the ‘responsible citizen’ through state educational practices. That work also resulted in a co-authored article on contemporary civics education in Canada, with Kristina Llewellyn. It can be found here. This article won best publication award from the Canadian Association of Foundations in Education in 2012.

For reviews of Citizen Youth, see Mowbray review, Sociology;  Bryan review, British Journal of Sociology; Mendick review, Gender & Education;  Lategan review, Critical Arts.

Urban Youth and Social Inequality

While completing my doctorate at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Educational Studies, I served as a senior research assistant for Dr. Jo-Anne Dillabough’s SSHRC and Spencer-funded research project on low-income youth and social inclusion and exclusion in urban schools in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Dillabough and I co-authored a book out of that research, entitled Lost Youth in the Global City: Class, Culture and the Urban Imaginary.

For reviews of Lost Youth in the Global City, see Ferrare and Apple review, Pedagogy, Culture & SocietyGoerisch review, Urban Studies; Nayak et al review, British Journal of Sociology of Education;  Owens review, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship; Tamboukou review, Gender & Education

Marginalized Youth and the Olympic Games

From 2008 to 2013, I conducted field work the years before, during, and after the Olympic Games in two Olympic cities: Vancouver, BC (2010 Winter Games) and London, UK (2012 Summer Games). I was talking to marginally housed or homeless young people about their experiences as the Olympics came to their city. This project was funded by a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship and a SSHRC standard research grant. The London fieldwork was conducted with my UK collaborator, Dr. Paul Watt at Birkbeck College, University of London.  I have recently completed a book about the project, titled Olympic Exclusions: Youth, Poverty, and Social Legacies (Routledge, 2016). I have also authored or co-authored several academic articles on the research, as well as written a popular piece for The Dominion.  This research has also been the topic of several media interviews, many of which can be found here.

Marginalized Youth and Civic Engagement

In Fall 2014, I began a new research project, funded by the Spencer Foundation’s New Civics Initiative, that looks at the civic engagement experiences of homeless youth in Ottawa. The project is designed to make use of visual, spatial, and phenomenological methods to better understand homeless youths’ encounters with the urban spaces in which they live, and the potential for their involvement in creating civic change that will improve their lives. To that end, the second half of the project is designed as a participatory action research project, in order to work collaboratively with the youth on the issues they identify as most pertinent. The culmination of the project has been three short films, which can be found here, along with a resource guide. The films and resource guide are open for anyone to use; please email me if you use them, just so I can know the impact the films are having.

Phenomenological research methods and youth cultures

I have just completed a book, co-edited with Dr. Stuart Poyntz, that brings together a collection of papers by scholars who are using phenomenology to make sense of young people’s lived experiences under globalization. Entitled Phenomenology of Youth Cultures and Globalization: Lifeworlds and Surplus Meanings in Changing Times, it came out with Routledge in February 2015.

Follow me on Twitter: @kennelly_jackie

PhD (British Columbia)
MES (York)
BASc (McMaster)

Contact information

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
B750 Loeb Building, 1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON, Canada K1S 5B6
613-520-2600 x8103

Main office Tel: 613-520-2582 | Fax: 613-520-4062