What is Radical in Youth and Community Work Now? Call for Papers.



Saturday June 28th 2014 Call for Papers What is radical in youth and community work now? Conscientisation, Occupying the Commons and all that.

In the 1980s there was a strong connection between some areas of the field of Youth and Community Work practice and radical social movements of the time such as the Women’s Liberation Movement and the Black Consciousness Movement. This was also a period of Trade Union and working-class activism.

Influenced by work in adult education, and ideas of the ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ and ‘Cultural Action for Freedom’ , youth and community work educators (along with many others) developed models of empowerment and ‘anti-oppressive practice’ within and sometimes against older models of social and political education.

Since then such ideas have been subject to critique from the left, to sidelining under New Labour, and attacked as ‘political correctness gone mad’ . The social movements too with which they were associated have undergone major transformation. Now there is much more widespread discussion of the role of religion. There is the ecojustice movement which by and large rejects and seeks to move beyond ‘identity politics’ in the name of ‘occupying the commons’ . Movements for democracy and emancipation are co-opted to neo-colonial projects of war and occupation around the world. British youth work can now be understood as a practice which has different histories in England,Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland.

Papers are invited which can contribute to discussion of these themes. We would like to have papers which address the current context as well as papers which re-connect with the debates of the 1980’s as they occurred in youth and community work. Debates concerning the role of workers linked to their identities and cultural/community histories and anti-oppressive practice now seem largely to be concerned with mentoring. Employment projects,which were widely critiqued, now form the basis of much pedagogy in the post-1992 Universities. Patriarchal religions offer the basis for whole youth and community work degrees! A commitment to political education, democratic practice and citizenship morphs somehow into NCS. These and many other contradictions might form the basis of papers. We also welcome contributions from colleagues in the wider radical education movement who are seeking to make connections with youth and community work practice.

To offer a paper, please contact Janet Batsleer J.Batsleer@mmu.ac.uk with an abstract of 400 words.

The day is free to those attending the TAG Conference of which this forms the last day and to BERA Members. There is a cost of £30 for others. All are welcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.