Shifting and Changing : Policy and Practice, Protest and Resistance in Y&P 110


A belated, but warm as ever welcome to the latest edition of Youth & Policy, which sees contributions from a number of committed IDYW supporters.  You might well expect me to say this, but Y&P 110 is close to mandatory reading – even on the beach or in the park, whilst on holiday! OK that’s pushing it!

Youth work in a changing policy landscape: the view from England
Bernard Davies

‘I just love youth work!’ Emotional labour, passion and resistance
Tania de St Croix

It’s business as usual: Newcastle, commissioning and cuts
Michael Bell, Lizi Gray and Anne Marron

In addition there is something of a contrary call to speak a common language by Richard Davies. I am at one with him in desiring a fundamental engagement with what we mean by youth work today. As to whether his journey towards a framework for debate via Wittgenstein, MacIntyre and Rawls moves us on requires you to tangle with his argument. A passing reference to IDYW is revealing.  He suggests that our perspective is sociological and in this sense hostile to the ‘positive psychological’ turn of recent times, epitomised in my view by the profoundly ideological notion of the ’emotionally resilient’ young person. Certainly we are not keen on the present narrative, but not because we lean to the sociological rather than the psychological. The founding letter of the campaign is a defence of a theory and practice, within which at its best critical sociology,  critical psychology and radical politics are interwoven. Obviously we are less than convinced by the instrumental and behavioural emphasis of ‘positive psychology’. In terms of how we become who we are, the creation of our personalities, we make the case for an open and imaginative encounter between youth worker and young person about what makes them both tick. We argue for the creative resuscitation of a person-centred humanist approach to understanding each other. We are neither sociologists nor psychologists,  but informal educators.

Youth Work, ‘Protest’ and a Common Language: Towards a Framework for Reasoned Debate
Richard Davies

There’s much else besides, a revealing scrutiny of child labour in

Protecting Child Employees: Why the system doesn’t work
Jim McKechnie, Sandy Hobbs, Amanda Simpson, Cathy Howieson and Sheila Semple

and an excellent Reviewed section.

Download Youth and Policy 110 [pdf] in its entirety.

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