There is on-going debate in youth and community work regarding its future. Driven by processes of neo-liberal governmentality, youth work has been bent in new and uncomfortable directions. For many, this threatens the very telos of praxis. However, despite this, a passionate commitment to youth work’s values and approaches doggedly remains.
This edited volume invites academics working in different continents and contexts to move beyond a critique of youth work’s current state, towards imagining different professional futures. Rooted in the profession’s historic values, and drawing on the distinct political and cultural environments that have shaped youth work practice in different global locations, the authors explore possible new routes and approaches for the profession. These discussions are located geographically (in a devolved United Kingdom, Europe, United States, Australasia, and the Developing/Majority world) as well as across different sectors and approaches (voluntary sector, faith sector, online, young women’s work). The result is a rich picture of global practice. This provides both depth and perspective from which to gain new insights regarding possibilities for future practices, which imagine fairer and more participative societies.
Graham Bright is Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies and Youth and Community Work at York St John University, UK. His PhD with Durham University explores youth workers’ life and practice narratives. Graham is editor of
Youth Work: Histories, Policy and Contexts (Palgrave, 2015). His practice continues to support work in the voluntary and faith sectors.
Carole Pugh is Senior Lecturer in Youth and Community Work at York St John University, UK. Prior to this she worked as a Youth Worker in Local Authority contexts. Her PhD at Huddersfield University explores youth work’s capacity to support the political engagement of young people.
Table of contents
Notes on Contributors Introduction Graham Bright and Carole Pugh
On Critical Beginnings: How We Got to Where We Are Bernard Davies and Tony Taylor 2
Contrasting Futures? Exploring Youth Work across the UK Tony Jeffs, Annette Coburn, Alastair Scott-McKinley and Steve Drowley 3
Youth Work and Cartographic Action: Re-naming Paradoxes – Mapping Utopian Futures Graham Bright and Carole Pugh 4
Youth Workin’ All over Europe: Moving, Associating, Organising and Providing Howard Williamson and Filip Coussée 5
The Future of US Youth Work Dana Fusco and Michael Baizerman 6
Future Prospects for Australasian Youth Work Trudi Cooper and Rod Baxter 7
Youth Work: Global Futures – Pictures from the Developing World Stuart Wroe 8
Dichotomous Voluntary Futures Ilona Buchroth and Dan Connolly 9
Where Is Faith-Based Youth Work Heading? Naomi Thompson 10
The Future of Online Youth Work Jane Melvin 11
On the Future of Youth Work with Young Women Janet Batsleer and Karen McCarthy 12
Towards New Horizons? ‘Youth and Community Work’ and Rhizomatic Possibilities Graham Bright and Carole Pugh
This is an important book for students, practitioners and lecturers in the field of youth and community work and related practice with young people.