Grassroots youth work : Policy, passion and resistance in practice

It gives us great pleasure to publicise the appearance of a new book by stalwart IDYW supporter, Tania de St Croix, Grassroots youth work : Policy, passion and resistance in practice. The launch of the publication will take place on Tuesday, July 12 at Kings College, London. Evidently loads of folk are intending to be there so no room for latecomers. Having been privileged to see early drafts of Tania’s research and insights into the neglected world of the paid and volunteer part-time youth worker I can vouch for its timely significance in reimagining together the future of an impassioned youth work practice, which holds true to an emancipatory politics.


The voices of grassroots youth workers are rarely heard in policy, research or public debate. This book paints a picture of passionate practitioners who build meaningful relationships with marginalised young people, at a time when their practice is threatened by spending cuts, target cultures and market imperatives.

Written by an experienced youth worker, this engaging book uses interviews, dialogue and research diary excerpts to bring youth work practice and theory to life. Offering perspectives not found elsewhere in the literature, it will interest researchers and practitioners in youth and community work, education, social work, and health and social care. Its rich, empirical research will resonate internationally.

Dr. Tania de St Croix has been a youth worker for over twenty years, and is a Lecturer in the Sociology of Youth and Childhood at King’s College London. She is active in Voice of Youth, a youth workers’ co-operative, and In Defence of Youth Work, a campaign for critical, democratic and emancipatory youth work practice.

“Essential reading for youth workers and other creative and critical thinkers who are looking for the cracks where life can still break up and break through the grids of control.” Janet Batsleer, Manchester Metropolitan University

“An in-depth look at the devastating impacts of neoliberal reform policies on youth services and youth work that illuminates the dedication and passion of youth workers against the backdrop of a dehumanizing work environment.” Dana Fusco, York College USA

And Tania herself adds, “academic books rarely make money, but if there is any profit I will pass it on to Voice of Youth and/or In Defence of Youth Work”. If you sign up to the newsletter of Policy Press you can get a 35% discount and you will find it an absorbing and accessible read – not always the case in terms of academic literature.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the kind words Tony! If anyone wants to come to the launch on Tues 5-7 near Waterloo I’m sure we could squeeze a couple more in, so just get in touch, Similarly, I’m hosting a critical conversation on youth impact on Thursday 14th July afternoon at King’s near Waterloo, spaces filled up before I was able to publicise it properly (!) but get in touch if you’re particularly keen as we would have room for a couple more.

    The research and book were hugely inspired by In Defence of Youth Work and the debates and conversations at our events and on this website, so big thanks to everyone! Hope the book feels useful and relevant to some of you.

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