This article is based on a study of the changing meanings and experiences of citizenship and participation for young people in transition from primary to secondary school. One of the primary concerns of the study is to better understand how different professional practices impact upon young people’s uptake of participation and adoption of civic identity. To gain some insight into this area the article first looks at the contexts in which participation work is developing and the interrelationships between these developments across children’s services. How different practitioner’s conceptualise participation is tied into different assessments of young people’s or children’s capacity. Recasting questions of capacity as dialogues across differing temporal stances can offer practitioners new ways to reflect upon the power negotiations within their relations with young people. The key role temporality plays in configuring power relationships and transactions is explored as it arises within practitioner life history interviews. The shifts between temporal stances that young people experience as they interact with different practitioners are illustrated through fieldwork data.
- identity formation
- life history