Communities and Cultures is an investigation in to the real impact of Universal Credit, the overhauling of the benefit and welfare services, which is expected to be fully operating by 2015/16.
It is a policy that is widely heralded by the national media and local councils as inherently problematic, not only for how it understands literacy, empowerment, independence, barriers; but also because of the fundamental changes it will lead to around domestic power relations, class, gender, ethnic and geographic identity, responsibility and everyday routines, to name a few.
Space2 is recruiting a group of unemployed young people from Inner East Leeds to facilitate skilling up and confidence building sessions, to enable them to fully voice their experiences and opinions, as they have to live with the consequences of these changes. In fact, it is their voice that is central and will shape the findings of the research, underpinned by academic excellence. As part of the project, young people will look at how they are portrayed in the media and be able to respond through their own creative products, promoting their self-identify and challenging some of the worst media misrepresentation. We will be sure to platform their views over the next 18 months of this project here.
Some of the questions being investigated are:
- Which communities are becoming visible and invisible through these reforms, and what are the implications of this
- What do the connections between the organisations and communities we engage reveal as politically, socially and economically important for the future?
- What are the impacts of the reforms on visible and invisible populations? Power? Efficacy? Citizenship? Gender? Domestic power relations? Expertise?
- What is the future role of voluntary and church organisations for social, cultural and welfare related activities?
Led by University of Leeds.